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'Btqueit ofoAliceV^eyer^uck. 1882-1979 
Stanford Vn'tversity QbTuries 



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lrMMK4 M»JK«^4iu4 Vi j|«rt </f C'oDfrtM^ In tlM year one thooiand eight hundred And sixty-one, by 

.t*t4*^t iA-#i • iHUt^ «/f ihm IMfttHH Court of the United Btatcfl, for the Northern Dietrict of California. 




How the Calayeras Grove was first discovered — Principal Routes to the Calaveras 
Grove — Alcatraces Island — Angel Island — Red Rock — Straits of Carquinez — 
City of Benicia — Monte Diablo — Sailing up the San Joaquin — City of Stockton 
— Stockton to Murphy's Camp — Road to the Mammoth-Tree Grove— The 
Mammoth-Tree Grove 9 


Disooyery and Location of the Caves of Calaveras — The Entrance— The Council 
Chamber— The Cathedral— The Bishop's Palace— The Bridal Chamber— Mu- 
sical HaU— The Hotel 61 


Scenery around the Natural Bridge— The Upper Bridges — The Lower Bridge. 56 


Inducementfl to Travel — California Landscape Scenery — ^The Mariposa Indian War, 


mdClrouiBBliincesthat led to the DUcovory ofllioTo^nilEoTalley — TariooB 
Roulcs to tlia Yo-Semiw Valley — TIio Journey fnim Stockton — CoulWrviUe — 
Ttw Start — Bovrer Cave — Bower Cave to Deer Flnt — Dcor Flat to Crane Flat 
— Tlio Mnmmolh Trees near Crniio Flat— Crane Flat to iho Staod-Point of 
Silence — Stand-Point of Silence — Tlie Desconlof the MonnWin— The liido up 
the Valley— Table of DiHtaiices— Tlio first Kight in llio Vnlley— Ride lo the 
Chi>-Lool(e, or Yo-Semilo Fall— Tlio Ford— Ride to Luke A li-wl-jali— Legend 
orTu-loch-flli-nu-laL- The Poliono. or Bridul Veil Fall— Sentinel Kofk— Visit 
to llie Pi-wy-aek, or Vemal Fall-— The To-wi-ye, or Nevada Fall— Tlio Coun- 
try about the Yo-wi-ye WHlerfall— The Too-lu-lu-wach, or South Branch 
Waterfall- A Bcent lo Ihe top of tlio Ciio-Looke, or Yo-Scmile Full— Attempt 
to ascend tlia great Semi-Dume, ris-an-ack — CompariBon betwi^eu tba Yo- 
Bemite Valley and aome piirta of Switzerland — Departure from the Tulley by 
the Mariposa Trail — View from Insjiimtion Point 61 


The DisoovereiB of the Maripoaa and Freziio Groves of Uaminoth Treea — The 
Uariposa Grove— The South Grove — Viait to the Freino Grove— Table of 
Dlstancoa to Mariposa — Town of Mariposa 140 


Bouts to Xew Alniadeti— San Joise— An Old Saw- The Discovery and Owoerehlp 
of the New Almaden Mine — Process of Kxiniciing Quickailver — The Road to 
the Mine — ProceBa of WorkinK the lliae — The Henriquita Quicksilver Mine — 
Dedicatory Ceremony of Bleaaing llie Uine IB* 


Mount ShasU — Ascent of Mount Shanta, rdone 113 

Sail through the Golden 
the Birds — Arrival n 
their Kggs— Wildiie 


late — CrnasiuK the Bar — Don't-care-iahness — Visits from 
the Mand^- The S«a Lions— Tiie Hair Seal— Birds and 
I of the Scunes- The North Furallonya 1 




The Three Roads to the Mission Dolores — Going— The San Francisco Sugar Refin- 
ery — The Mission Dolores — The San Francisco Industrial School — The 
Ocean House — The Laguna Honda — The Beach House — The Drive along the 
Beach to Seal Rock— Fort Point — ^The Presidio 200 


Sailing from the "Wharf— Crossing tlie Bay — Crooked Navigation of Petaluma 
Creek — Petaluma and the Russian River Valley — View from Godwin's 
Peak— The Geysers 221 


The Riffle-Box WaterfaU 237 


Lake Bigler 239 


Alabaster County Cave — Discovery of the Cave — Scenes on the Sacramento River 
— Salmon Fishery on the Siicramento River — The Hog's Back — Steamboat 
Slough — A Ride on the Sacramento Valley Railroad — Folsom — From Folsom 
to Alabaster Cave — Alabaster Lime-Kiln — The Entrance to Alabaster Cave — 
The Dungeon of Enchantment — ^The Crystal Chapel 243 


Butt and Swtioii of Che MatDmotb-Tree Trunk 9 

River Steambuats leavmg tho Broadway Wharf, Sod Frsnciico 15 

Alcairaces Island 18 

Red Rock 20 

Tbe Two SistofB SI 

Straits of Cnrquincz 21 

City of Benicin 33 

Ifonlo Diablo 28 

Niliht Scene on the Sao Joarjuin River 31 

View of the City of Stockton 33 

A Prairie Schooner 35 

The Big-Tree Collage 41 

Cotillion Parly on the Stump of one of the Mammoth TrcoB. 4i 

Worltmeo folliog the Mammolh Tree 43 

Bowling Alley on the Trunk of the Fallen Mammolh Tree 4i 

The Ffltlier of the Forcat , . , 46 

Cone and Foliage of Ihe Mammolh Treea 47 

The Thrte Graces 49 

Entrance to the Calaveras Cove 51 

The Bridal Chamber in the Calaveraa Cave 64 

Hotel Dt the Calaveras Cave 55 

Dpper Side of Upper Natural Bridge on Cayote Creek 56 

Lower Side of Upper Natural Bridge 58 

Upper Side of Lower Natural Bridge 69 

Distant View of the To-Somile Waterfall 61 

Tu-toch-ah-QU-Iah 71 

TheSWrt 82 

Bower Cave 83 

Camping at Doer Flat — Night Scene 84 

Descending the Mountain toward tbo Yo-Semlte Valley 89 

lUver Scene at the Foot of the Trail 90 


33. Eteaehft Peaka 92 

33. Diatom View of the Poliono or Bridal Veil Waterrall 03 

3t The Ferry fl* 

Crossing the Ford. . , 

38. Near View of the Clio-loako or To-Semito Waloriill 98 

I^e Ah-wi-yah. . 

. 103 

Sentinel Roclc 107 

Near View of tlio Pohono or Bridal Veil Waterfhll UO 

River Scene just 1>elow Lhe Brid^, lotting East HI 

The Pi-wy-ack or Vernal Waterfall 113 

The Ladders lU 

The Gorge 114 

The To- or Nex-ada Waterfall 116 

Tig-sa-ack, or South Dome, from the South Cafioa 119 

The or South Fork WateriaU 120 

Indian Cofion IJl 

To-coj-ae and Tis-sa-ack, or the North and South Domes, from the Valley . . I2S 

Climbing by the Indian Trail 128 

Ascending the Lower Dome , 131 

Cothedml Rocks 137 

Gonerol View of the Yo-Scmile Valley 138 

Scene la the Frezno Grove of ilanunoth Trees UO 

The Twins, in the Mariposa Grove of Mammoth Trees 1*3 

Satan's Spcnr IM 

The Grizzled Giant 149 

Town of Uuriposa IBS 

Metal Yard and Entrance to the Cinnabar Mine of Sow Almaden 164 

Citj of San Jose 167 

The Quicksilver Works at New Almaden ISS 

Tlio Smelting Furnace 1B9 

Mexicans Weighing Quicksilver IGO 

Shrine of ScilorB de Guadahipe 1S3 

Uineros at Work In the Mine 184 

Tenaleros carrying Ore from the Mine 16fi 

The Henriquila Quicksilver Mine on the Morning- of Dedication 171 

MountShnsta 113 

The South Farallone lalnnds. from Big Eookcry 180 


%%i, Paoi. 

41V. ^Xj^ier Ship crossing the Bar at tlie Entrance of the Bay of San Francisco . 1 82 

'1», Ktt^Mtte'l with the delightful Prospect off the Bar 184 

'3. JI^Aith-Kwrt View of the Farallone Islands 185 

?r SUfi in a Tight Place 187 

?}. !(<» UfrtM and their Young 188 

#4> TJ*e JIair 8eal of the Pacific 1 89 

?5, TIks Murre 192 

7^, M'jrrr/s Kgg, Natural Size 193 

IT T»i« Tufl/Kl Puffin 19S 

1H, VUnr frtrm West End of the Farallone Islands 195 

1>. V'usw frtim North Landing of the Farallone Islands 197 

¥k fV/iJtli View of Fort Point and the Golden Gate 200 

HU (U:WiTt\ View of the Mission Dolores 206 

M, Tlie Old Mission Church and Outbuildings 207 

ft3, Kan Franc'wo Industrial School 210 

M, The rxx;an House 215 

ft&, Drive along the Beach toward Seal Rock 217 

M, Tl»« Presidio 219 

VI, Wit^'hes* Cauldron at the Geyser Spnngs 221 

%H. The SteamVioat ** Rambler," navigating Petaluma Creek 224 

H'J Jtay'M Ranfhc, and the Russian River Valley 227 

W. The (ieyw-r Springs Hotel 231 

»L iUtywiT Canon 232 

W. Prr/wrrpine's Grotto 233 

'j'i. \'uiw (if Clour Luke, from the Bridge near the Geysers 236 

fl4. Tho limcAU)X Waterfall, Deer Creek 237 

W, hiku liigler 239 

ya. rUh PuIpU, in the VA Dorado County Cave 243 

Ul. J»wcr Junction of the Main Sacramento River and Steamboat Slough 248 

itH, Sl'/lil iyt'jiiiti on the Sacramento 24 9 

*J'J, Hahiioii Fi»'hin^ — Paying out the Seine 250 

100. Iljiiiliii^c ill Iho Seine 251 

101. 'in/Up of Sulnion on the Banks of the Sacramento 252 

102. Th<.' I rpixT Main Junction of Sacramento and Steamboat Sloughs 255 

103. The Ixrvee at Siicramento City 257 

104. The Aiahuhtor Limo-Kihi by McHmlijrht 261 

106. Tlie Cr>'Htal CliaiK?! in the Ahibaster Cave 266 







" God of Iho forost'a solemn ehadp I 

The graadeur or tha lonelj' tree, 
That wrealles aioglj wilti the gale, 

Lifla up admitiiig ojea Ui Thee , 
But more tnajEslia for they stand, 

When, side by sido their ranks they Tonn 
To wave on !j[gh their plumes of green, 

Aod fight their battles with the Elorm." 


It is niucli to be questioned if the discovery of any wonder, in 
any part of tlitj world, liaa ever elicited as much general interest, 
or created so strong a tax upon the credulity of mankind, as the 
diftcoverj' of tbe niammotli trees of California. Indeed, those who 
firnt mentioned the faet of their existence, whether Ly word of 
mouth or by letter, were looked upon as near, very near, relatives 
of Baron Miinphaiiseti, Captain Gulliver, or the celebrated Don 
Quixote. TIio statement had many times to be repeated, and 
well corrol»orated, before it could be received as true ; and there 
are many persons who. to this very day, look upon it as as a some- 
what doubtful " California story ;" such, wo never expect to con- 
vince of the realities we are about to illuBtrate and describe, al- 
thon^li WB do BO from our own personal knowledge and observa- 


In the Hpring of 1852, Mr. A. T. Dowd, a hunter, was employed 
by th« Union Water Company, of Murphy's Camp, Calaveras 
i-ounty, to Hujiply the workmen engaged in the construction of 
(hair rannl, with fresh meat, from the large quantities of game 
running wlhl on the upper portion of their works. Having 
Woundeil a hunr, and while industriously following in pursuit, he 



fluddealy came upon one of thoae immense trees, that liave since 
become bo justly celebrated throughout the civilized world. All 
thoughts of hunting were absorbed and lost in the wonder and 
surprise inspired by the scene. " Surely," be mused," this must 
be some cuijously delusive dream I" but the great realities stand- 
ing there before him, were convincing ])roof, beyond a doubt, 
tliat they were no mere fanciful creations of his imagination. 

When he returned to camp, and tJiere related the wonders be 
had seen, his companions laughed at him and doubted his vera- 
city, which previously they had considered to be very reliable. 
He affirmed his statement to be true, but they still thought it 
"too much of a story" to believe — thinking that ho was trying to 
perpetrate upon them some tirst of April joke. 

For a day or two he allowed the matter to rest — submitting, 
vith chuckling satisfaction, to the occasional jocular allusions to 
" hie big tree yarn,"' and continued liis Iiiinting as fomierly. On 
the Sunday morning following, lie went out early as usual, and 
returned in haste, evidently excited by some event. " Boys," 
he exclaimed, "I have killed the largest grizzly bear that I ever 
saw in my life. While I am getting a little something to eat, 
you make preparations to bring him in. All had better go tliat 
can possibly be spared, as their assistance will certainly be 

As the big tree story was now almost forgotten, or by common 
[ consent laid aside as a subject of conversation ; and, moreover, as 
I Sunday was a leisure day — and one that generally hangs the 
I heaviest of the seven on those who arc shut out from social in- 
I tercourse with friends, as many, many Californiana unfortunately 
I are — ^the tidings were gladly welcomed ; especially as the propo- 
I tition was suggestive of a day's excitement. 

Nothing loath, they were soon ready for the start. The camp 
I was almost deserted. On, on they hurried, with Dowd as their 
I guide, through thickets and pine groves; crossing ridges and 
I caQons, flats and ravmes; each relating in turn the adventuree 
I experienced, or heard of from companions, with grizzly bears and 
I other formidable tenants of the forests and wilds of the moun- 


laiiut ; aotil Uieir leader ntuue to a dead lialt at the foot of the 
tree tic bad seen, and to tluiiii bad related tbe size. Pointiiig to 
the unmeniie tniuk and loftj tup. he cried out, '■• Bot&, do too now 
believe mr big tree Btoryi That is tbe large griedy I wanted 
yon to see. Do you still tbutk it a yarn }" 

Tlitu vinvinced, their d<iubt« were cbaogcd to amazem^it, and 
their mmversation from bears U> trees; afterward confessing that, 
altliough titer bad been caoght by a rose of tlieir leader, they 
were abundantly rewarded by the gratifying eight they had 
witneMed ; and as other tree* were foand equally as large, they 
boeame wilting witne»«e8. not only to the entire trathfolnese of 
Mr. Dowd'e account, but also to the fact, that, like the confeseion 
of a certain Persian i|iiHeii ctjiiceming tbe wisdmu uf Solomon, 
" tlie iialf bad not been tuld." 

Mr. Lewis, one of the party above allnded tf>, after &eeing these 
gigantic forest patriarclis, conceived the idea of removing tbe 
bark from one of the trees, and of taking it to the Atlantic states 
for exhibition, and invited Dowd to join him in the enterprise. 
Tliis was dec-lined; but, while Mr. Lewi» was engaged in obtain- 
ing a Hiiitable partner, some one from Murptiy's Camp to whom 
lie Imd c'Jiitided liis iiitentionB and made known liis plana, took up 
a [HJBse of men early the next morning to tlie spot described by 
Mr. Lewis, and, after liM^ating a quarter section of land, imme- 
diately comnieneed tlie removal of tlie hark, after attempting to 
diasuade Lewis from tbe undertaking.* Tliis underhanded pro- 
ceeding induced I^wis to visit the large tree at Santa Cruz, dis- 
covered by Fremont, for the purpose of competing, if possible, 
with his quomiant friend ; but finding that tree, although large, 
only nineteen feet in diameter and 286 feet in height, while tliat 
in Calaverao (-oiinty was thirty feet in diameter and 302 feet in 
height, lie tlieti turned his steps to some trees reputed to be the 
greatest in magnitude in tliestate, growing near Trinidad, Klamath 

■ In iho winl<?r <if 18B4, we met Mr. I*wi« in YrokB, Bad (roin his own lips receWed 
tliin nocHiiiit; mid W8 llliuk it no more cbnn ulinplu jiimice to him hens to make a 
n-ccinl i>r lliB (aeU Ihm such ■!> unrnir nnd nnponUemaiily violation of confldonce may 
be botb known and C))njnired,u It well deserves lo b«. 





; but tLe largest of these he found only to iiieaaiire almnt 
■enty-four feet in <Iiameter, and two hundred and fiu\'eiity-nint! 
in lieight ; eonsiH]uently, much diBCOurnf^od, and after spend- 
ahout five hundred dollars and several weeka' time, he even- 
ly abandoned his nndertakuig. 

lut a shfirt season was allowpd to elapse after tlie discovery 

this remarkable grove, before the tmrapot-tongued press i>ri'- 

,imed the wonder to all sections uf the state, and to all parts 

world; and the lovers of tlii? marvBllous began lirst ii> 

doubt, tlien to believe, and »fterward tti fluek from the various 

districts of Califoniia, that thoy might sue, witli their own eyes, 

the objecte of which they had heard so much. 

No pilgrims to Muhamed's t«mb at Mecca, or to the rejiuteil 

itment of our Saviour at Trt^ves, or to the Juggernaut of Ilin 

itan, ever maiufestod more interest in the sujicrstitious objects 

their veneration, than the iiitellijreut and devout worehippere 

the wonderful iii nature and science, of uur own country, in 

their vieit to the Mannuoth-Tree Grove of Calaveras euiuity, high 

up in tlie Sierras. 

Murphy's Camp, then known as an obscnre though excellent 
mining district, waa lifted into notoriety by its proximity to, and 
the starting-point Ibr, the Big-Tree Grove, and consequently 
'as the centre of considerable attraction to visitors. 


As very many persons will doubtless wish to visit these re- 
BBfkable places, and as we cannot in this brief work describe all 
Sie various routes to these great natural marvels, from everj- vil- 
1, town, and city in the state — for they are almost as numerous 
ud diversified as the different riiads that Christians seem to 
>ke to their exi>ected heaven, and the multitudinous creeds about 
9ie way and manner of getting there — we shall content ouraelvee 
by giving the principal ones ; and, after having recited tbe follow- 
ing qcaint and unanswerable argument of a celebrated divine to 
the querulous and uncharitably disposed ineiiihurs of his flock, we 
^•hall, with the reader's kind peniiission, pn.iceed on our journey. 




** Then VM K Chrkdan brother — * Pradntema — who walked 
np to the gate of die Xev TiiiimiViii. umI knoeked fee ailmittancc, 
when an at^d vbo n in thmrge. looked don fiwn above aEid 
inqidied what he wanted. * To eone ia,' vaa the answer. * Wlio 
and what are tod f ' A PreebTterian.* '' Sit oa that seal there.' 
This was on the ootEide of the gate ; and the good tb&n feanxi 
that he had beoi rdbaed admittanoe. Pkcficndy airiv-^ an 
Episcopalian, then a Baptist, then a lCetbod>Bt. and so on, nntil a 
representative of crerr Christian sert had made hia appearant» ; 
and were alike c^ered to take a fcst ontfide. Before ther had 
long been there.'^ continaed the g<KKl man. ** a load anthem broke 
forth, roiling and swelling opon tho air. from the choir within ; 
when those ontdde inuuedlaidr JMned in the c^rrtft. ' Oh !* 
said the angel, as he (^>eoed wide the gate. ' I did not know yon 
by yonr namefi, btit yon have all learned one eong — come in I 
come in ! Tlie name yon bear, or the way by which yun came, 
is of Utile ooneeqiieoce compared with your b^ng here at all.' 
As you, my brethren." the good man went on — ** as you cxpoot 
to live peaceably and lovingly tt^lher in heaven, you had better 
b^n to pi-sctice it on earth. I have dona" 

As this allegorical advice needs no words of application eithw 
to the traveller or the Christian, in the hope that the latter will 
take the admonition of Captain Cuttle. " and make a note on^t,*' 
and an apology tu the reader fur tliis digression, we will enter at 
once upon our plea«iti}r task. 

To those who reside in, or contiguous to, and wisli to start from 
San Francisco, the most direct route to any of llie mammoth-tree 
grovea is by Stockton. That city can be reached by steamboat or 
stage. To take the latter, tlie traveller should cross the bay in the 
first of the Contra Costa ferry-boats for Oakland — which generally 
leave the Vallejo street wharf, San Francisco, every morning, at 
eight A-M. — and thence proceed overland ; if the former, he ahould 
repair to the Broadway Btrcet wharf a little before four o'clock 
P.M., on any day (Sundays excepted). This being the route 
mostly travelled, wc shalt confine our attention mainly to it. 

There, probably, !a not a more exciting and bustling scene of 

fiinesa activity in any part of iliu ■world, tlian i.-aii Im; witne66«(l 

1 almoet any day, Sunday excepted, at Broadway street wliarf. 

I Franciecu, at a few niinutce bet'ora four o'ul<w.'k i'.m. Men 

; women are hurrying tu and fro; drays, carriages, expi-esa- 

tgoQB, and liiirBCinen, diwli jiast yon with as iniicli rapidity and 

esa as tliougli tliey were the bearers of a reprieve to some 

londemned criminal, wliose last moment of life had nearly ex- 

Mred, and, by Its speedy delivery, thought they conid save liim 

poin the scaffold. Indeed, one would suppose, by the apparent 

ickleesne^B of manner in riding and driving through t)ie crowd, 

tat numerous limbs would be broken, and carriages made into 

s aa small as mince-meat ; but yet, to your surprise, notliing 

t the kind occurs, for, on arriving at the smallest real obstacle to 

18 BaENl':^ IN l^AXUTuKNlA. 

their progress, ajiimuls are suddenly reined iti, with & promptneaa 
that astonisheB you. 

On tliese occasions, too, there is aluiust sure to he one or more 
iiitttntioiial pasBcngera that arrivG just too late to get aboard, and 
who, ill their uxuitement, ofteu throw an overcoat or valise on 
the boat, or overboard, but neglect to embrace the only opportune 
moment to j^et on board themselves, and are constdineiitly left 
lu'liind, &i these boats are alwavM puuctual to their time of starting. 

With the reader's consent, a^^ he may be a stranger to the vari- 

a of our beautiful California, 

will bear him 


and explain some of the objects we may see. As it is always cool 
iTi San Francisco on a summer aft«moon, we would invite hijn to 
please jtut on hiit overcoat or cloak, and let lis take a coay seat 
together on deck ; and, whilo the black vohimes of smoke are 
rolling from the tops of the funnels, aud our boat is shooting paet 
this wharf, and that vessel now lying at anchor in the bay, or, 
while numerous nei-vous peoplu are troubled about their baggage, 
asking the porter all sorts of (juestious, let ns have a quiet chat 
uiMiii the sights we may witness on our trip. 

Tile tirst object of interest tliat we Hnd after leaving the wliarves 
of the city behind, is 




•his «v "■•% '• I"" i'PP"""'= ""^ •Jo'*™ f"""" "'"' »'""" '""'' 



entrance to the great bay ol" San Franeisuo, and is but three and ii 
half milee from Fort Point. 

This island is one hundred and forty feet in height above low- 
tide, four hnndred and fifty feet in width, and sixteen hundred 
and fifty feet in length ; Bomewhat irregular in shape, and forti- 
fied on all sides. The large building on its snimnit, about tlie 
centre or crest of tlie island, is a defensive barracks or citadel. 
three etories liigh, and in time of peace will acconiiuodate aboul 
two hundred men, and, in time of war, at least three times that 
number. It is not only a shelter for the soldiers, and will witli- 
Btaud a respectable (.-annonadc, hut from its top a murderous fire 
could be poured upon its assailants at all parts of the island, and 
from whence every point of it is visible. There is a beU of forti- 
; flcations encircling the island, consisting of a series of Barbett*- 
I batteries, mounting, altogether, about ninety-four guna — twenty- 
libur, forty-two, sixty-eight, and one hundred and thirty-two 
I pounders. 

The first building that you notice, after landing at the wharf, in 

Lt massive briek and stone guard-huuse, shot and shell proof, well 

I protected by a heavy gate and drawbridge, and iiaving tliree em- 

ibrasures for twenty-four pound howitzers, that command the 

approach from the wharf. The top of this, like the barracks, if 

flat, for the use and protection of riflemen. Other guard-houses, 

of similar construction, are built at diflferent points, between which 

there are long lines of parapets sufficiently high to preclude the 

possibility of an escalade ; and back of which are circular plat- 

I forms for mounting gims of the heaviest calibre, some of which 

■ weigh from nine to ten thousand [jounds. In addition to these. 

E'tbere are tlireo bomb-proof magazines, each of which will hold 

3. thousand poimds of powder. On the south-eastern side of the 

f island is a large furnace for the purpose of heating cannon balls, 

ind other similar contrivances are in course of construction. 

Unfortunately, there is no natural supply of water on the island. 

I that all of that clement which is used there is taken from 

BSaucelito. In the basement of tlie barrat^ks is a cistern, capa- 

Ible of holding fifty thousand gallons of water, a portion of 


wliicli can lio siijipUed t'roni the nHif nl" lliat Imildiiig in the 

Appru] (nations liave been made fur the furtifieatioii of tliJa 
island, to the ainuunt of eight liitiiilred and iiiiiety-eix ttiousand 
dollaru; and about one hundred tliuu«aud dollars mure will com- 
plete theni. From forty to two hundred men have been employ 
ui»on these works siiKie their coiniuencenicnt in 1853, 

At the BoiitU-eaBterii end of the island is a tog-bell, of abont i 
t-ame weight as that at Fort Point, which is regulated to strike I 
machinery ont* in abont every fifteen Be4.H)iide. 

The wliole of the works on this island are under the t 
snperintendeuee of Lientenant McPherson, who very kindly c 
plained to ns the strength and purposes of the different fort 
tions made. 

Tlie lighthouse, at the south of the barracks, con tains a Freenel 
lantern of the third order, and which can be seen, on a clear 
night, some twelve miles onteide the heads, and is of great service 
in snggestiiig the course of a vessel when entenng the bay. 

Vet, as we are sailing on at considerable speed across the 
entrance to the bay, toward Angel Island, we must not iijiger 
hfiK, even in imagination ; eepetaally as we can now luuk out 
through the far-famed (.iolden Gate; the golden-hinged hope of 
many, who, with lingering eyes, have longed to look ujion it, and 
to enter through its charmed portals to this land of gold. How 
many, too, have longed and liopred, for years, to pass it once 
again, on their way out to the endeared and lovuig hearts that 
wait to welcome them, at that dear spot they Btill(;a]l"Zr(WM/" 
fJod btosa them ! 

Now the vessel is in full sail, and steamships that are entering 
the heads, as well as those within that arc tacking, now on this 
stretch, and now on that, to make way out against the strong 
north-west breeze that blows in at the Golden Gate for five-eighths 
of the year, are fast being lost to sight, and we are just abreast of 


Tliis island, but five miles from tlie city of Saii Francisco, was 




granted by Governor Alvamdo to Antonio M, Adio, by order of 
the government of Mexit'O, iu 1837 ; and by him sold to its present 
owners in 1853. As it contains aoine eight hundred acres of ex- 
cellent land, it ie by far the largest and most valuable of any in 
tlie bay of San Francisco, and the green wild oats that grow to its 
very summit, in early spring, givi? excellent pasturage to stock uf 
all kinds; while the natural springs, at different points, afford 
abundance of wat«r at all seasons. At the present time there are 
about five hundred sheep roaming over its fertile hills. A large 
portion of the land is susceptible of cultivation, fur grain and 

From the inexhaustible quarries of hard, blue, and brown 
sandstone that here abound, have been taken nearly all of the 
stone used iu the fouuilations of the numerous buildings in San 
Francisco. The extensive fortitications at Alcatraces Island, Fort 
Point, and other places, have been faced with it ; and the exten- 
sive government works at Mare Island have been principally 
built with stone from these quarrit-s ; yet many thousands of tons 
will be required from the same source, before tlie fortifications and 
other government works are comjileted. Clay is also found iu 
abundance, and of an excellent quality for making bricks. 

In 1856 Angel Island was surveyed by United States Engineers, 
for the purpose of locating ait«s for two twenty-four gun batteries, 
which are in the line of fortifications re*piired, before our magnifi- 
cent harbor may be considered as fortified, Tlie most important 
of these batteries will be on the north-west point of the island, and 
will command Kaccoon Straits; aud. until this is built, our navy 
yard at Mare Island, and even the city of San Francisco itself, 
cannot be considered safe, inasmuch as, through these straits, ships 
of war could easily enter; if. by means of the heavy fog that so 
frequently liange over the entrance to the bay, or other cause, 
they once passed Fort Point in safety. But liere we are just 


This singular looking island was formerly called Treasure, or 
Golden Iiock,in old charts, from a traditionary report being cir- 


Ciliated of aomt! large treasure hft^-ing been once carried there, by 
early Spauieh navigators. In cliarta of recent date, however, it is 
sometimes called Molate Island, but is now more generally known 
as Bed Rock, from its general color. 

Tliere are several strata of rock, of different colors — -if rock it 
can be called — one of wliich is verj' fine, and resenibles an article 
Bometinjes found upon a lady's toilet-table — of course in earlier 
days — known as rouge-powder. Besides this there are several 
strata of a species of clay or colored pigment, of from four to 
twelve inches in thickness, and uf various colors. Upon thebeacli 
numerous small red pebbles, very much resemtding cornelian, are 
found. Tlitjre cm be but little wonder it shimld be called " Ked 
Roek," by plain, matter-of-faet people like ourselves. It is cov- 
ered with wild oats to its summit, on which is planted a flag-staff 
and cannon. Some four years ago its locater and owner, Mr. 
Selim E. Woodworth, took about half a dozen tame rabbits over to 
it, from San Francisco, and now there are several hundred. 

As Mr. Woodworth, before becoming a benedict, made this his 
place of residence, he partially graded its apparently inaccessible 
sides; and at different points planted several ornamental trees. 
A small bachelor's cabin stands ftear the water's edge, and as this 
affords the means of cooking fish and sundry other dishes, its 
owner, and a small party of friends, pay it an occasional visit for 
Ashing and general recreation. Several sheep roam about on the 
island ; and, as they seldom drink water, they do not feel the loss 
of that which nature has here failed to supply. 

But on, on, we sail, and pass Maria Island and the Two Sisters. 


After leaving tbtue behind, 
we enter the large bay of that 
fine table and grazing lands 
Contra Costa range of liills. 

ing by 1 
and are clmnued with the 
riglit, at the foot of the 


Jiiat before entering the Straits of Carqiiinez, that coiineeta tlie 
't»8j-fl of San Pablo and Siiisiin. on our left, we obtain a glimpse 
of the government wi.rku at Mare Island and the town of Vallejo; 


hut OS we shall pruliablj' liave soiuetliing to say abuut these poiuts 
al sijiiie future time, we will now take a look at tlie straits. As 
tlie etraiiger approacheg tlieae fur the tii'st time, he makes up \\\& 
mind that the vessel on which he stands is out of her course, ant] 
is certainly running toward a bluff, and will soon be in trouble 
it' she docs nut change her course, but as he advances and tlie 
entrance to this narrow channel becomes visible, lie concludes 
lliat a few moments ago he entertained a very foolish idea. 

Now, however, the bell of the steamboat and a porter both 
announce that we are coming near Benicia, and that those who 
intend disembarking here. had better have their baggage and their 
ticket in readiness. 


One would suppose as the boat nears the wliarf that she 16 
going to run " riglit into it," but soon she moves gracefully round 
and is made fast ; but while those ashore, and those aboai-d, aru 
eagerly scanning eacb other, to see if there is any familiar face to 
which to give tlie nod of recognition, or the cordial waving of the 
hand in friendly greeting, we will take our seats, and say a word 
or two about this city. 

Beuecia was founded, in the fall of 1847, by the late Thomas 
O. Larkin and Roland Seniple (who was also the originator and 
editor of the first California newspaper published at Monterey, 
August 15th, 1846. entitled The C<dift»TiMn), upon land donated 
them for the purpose by General M. G, Vallejo, and named in 
honor of the general's estimable lady. 

In 1848, a number of families took up their residence here. 
During tlie fall of that year a public school was established, 
which has been continued uninterruptedly to the present. In the 
ensuing spring a Presbyterian church was organized, and lias 
vnutinnod undef its original pastor to the present time. 

TTie peculiarly favorable position of Benicia recommended il,at 
ui early day, as a suitable place for the general military head- 
t^oartera of the United States, upon the Pacific. Being alike 
ciw<r«uieiit of access both to the sea-board and interior, and far 
MM^ from the ixwwt to be secure against sudden assault in time 


of war, it was eeen that no more favorable position could be 
selected, as iidapted to all contingencies. These views met the ap- 
proval of the general government ; and aecordiugly extensive store, 
houses were built, military posts establislitid, and arrangements 
made for erecting here the principal areenal on the Pacific coast. 
There already are trtLted 
|l barracks for the soldiers, 

and officerb quarters two 
magaziiie'4 capable of 1 oM- 
ing from six thousand to 
seven tlousard ban els of 
gunpowder ol rne Imndred 
pcnnda eaili , two store- 
houses filled witli gun-car- 
riages, cannon, ball, and sev- 
eral handred stand of small 
amis; besides workshops, etc. 
About one hundred men 
arc now employed, under 
the superintendence of Cap- 
tain F, D. Calender, in the 
uunstniction of an arsenal 
two hundred feet in length 
by sixty feet in width, and 
three stories in height, suit- 
ably provided with towers, 
loop-holes, windows, etc. Be- 
sides this, a large citadel is 
in course of erection. Two 
hundred and twenty -five 
thousand dollars have al- 
ready been appropriated to 
these works, and they will 
most probably require as 
much more before the whole 
is completed. 



Here, too, are ten liig)ily and iiuriouslj^ oniaiuented brnuze ean- 
uou. six eight-pounders and foitr foiir-poiinders. that were brought 
originally from old Spuiii, and taken at Fort Point dnring our ¥ 
witli Mexico. Tlie follon'ing names and dates, besides coataj 
arms, etc., are inseribed on some of thorn : 

"San Martin, Ano. D. Iti84." 

" Podcr. Ano. D. 1693." 

"San Francisco, Ano. D. 1673." 

"San Dunieiigo, Ano. D. ltJ79." 

" San Pedro. Ano. D. lB:i8." 

As tlie barracks are merely a depot for the reception and t 
niissiiin of ti\x>|^ it is difficult to say how many soldiers are 
quartered here at any one time. 

Tliere are numerous other interesting places about Benieia, one 
of which is the extensive works of the Pacific Mail Steaiusliip 
Company, where all the repairs to tlielr vessels are made, eoal 
deposited, etc., etc. 

In 1853, Benieia was chosen the capital of the state by onr 
peripatetic legislature, and continued to hold that position for 
about a year, when it was taken to Sacramento, where it still (for 
a wonder) remains, 

And, though last, by no means the least important feature of 
Benieia, is the widely-known and deservedly flourishing boarding- 
school for young ladies, the Benieia Seminary, under the charge 
of Miss Mary Atkins, founded in 1852, and jn which several 
yoang ladies have taken graduating honors. 

Next to this is the collegiate school for young gentlemen, under 
the superintendence of Mr. Flatt, and which was established in 
1853 ; adjoining which is the college of Notre Dame, for the edu- 
cation of Catholic children. These, united to the excellent 
sentiments of the people, make Benieia a favorite place of resi- 
dence for families. 


Nearly opposite to Benieia, and distant only three miles, is the 
pretty agricultural village of Marline?., the county-seat of Contra 
Coflta county. A week among the live-oaks, gardens, and farmB 


in and around tkis lovely spot, wilt Konvhiee the most sceptical 
that there are few more beautiful places in any part of the state. 
A steam ferry-l>oat piles across the straits betweeu this place and 
Beiiicia, every hour in the day. The Stockton boat always used 
to touch here both going and returning. 

The run across the Straits of Carquinez, from Beiiicia to Mar- 
tinez, three mites distant, takes about ten mioutcs. Then, alYer 
a few moments' delay, we again Jaah onward— the moonlight 
gilding the troubled waters in the wake of our vessel, as she 
plows her swift way through the Bay of Suisuu, aud to all appear- 
ance deepens the shadows on the darker sides nf Monte Diablo, 
by defining, with silvery clearness, the uneven ridges and sumtiiit 
of that solitary mountain mass. 

But now we must hurry on our way, as the steamboat is by 
this time passing the different islands in the Bay of Suisun, named 
ae follows: Prefllon Island, King's, Siininuna", Davie', Wasbing- 
ton, Knox's, Jones', and Sherman's Island; while on our right, 
boldly distinct in outline and form, stands 


Almost every Californian has 8«'en Mimle Diablo. It is the 
great central landmark of the state. Wliellier we are walking iu 
tlie streets of San Francisco, or sailing on any of our bays and 
, navigable rivers, or riding on any of the roads in the Sacramento 
rand San Joaquin Valleys, or standing on the elevated ridges of 
U&B raining districts before lis — in lonely boldness, and at almost 
f every turn, we see Monte del Diablo. Probably from its apparent 
Komnipreeence we are indebted to its singnlar name. Mount of the 

Viewed from the nortli-west or south-east, it appears double, or 
witli two elevations, the points of which are abont three miles 
apart. The south-western peak is tlie most elevated, and is three 

itliousand seven hundred and sixty feet above the sea. 
For the purpose of properly surveying the state into a net- 
work of township lines, three raBridians or initial points wei-e 
established by the United States Survey, namely: Monte Dial>h>, 

Mount San BeriiarJino, and Mminf Pierce, Hiiniholdr cimnty. 
Across tlie hipliest ]ieaks of each of tliese, a " meridian line" and 
a "base line" were run; the latter from east to west, and tbe 
former from north to eoiith. The honndarice nf the Monte Diabk» 
meridian indiide all tlie laiirla in th*^ cn^at Sacramento and San 
.Toaqiiin Valleys, between the Coast Range and the Sierras, and 
from the Siskiyou Mduntains to the San Bernardino meridian, at 
the head of the Tnlare Valley. 

Tlie geological formation of this mountain is what is usually 
termed "primitive;" surrounded by sedimentary rocks, abound- 
ing in marine shells. Near the summit there are a few quartz 
veins, but whether eold-bearing or not has not yet been deter- 
mined. About one-third of the distance from the top, on the 
western slope, is a " hornblende" rock of peculiar structure, and 
said by some to contain gold. In the numerous spurs at the 
liase, there is an excellent and inexhaustible supply of limestone. 

At the eastern foot of the mountains, about five luitcs from the 
San Joaquin River, three veins of stove coal have been discovered, 
and are now being worked with good prospects of remuneration. 


B the Veins grow thicker and the quality better, as they proceed 
with their labors. 

It is said that copper ore and cinnabar have both been found 
here, but with what truth we are unable to determine. Some 
Spaniards have reported that they know of some ri(-h mineral 
there ; hut do not tell <•{ what kind, and, for reasons best known 
to themselves, wilt neither communicate tlieir secret to others nor 
work it themselves. 

If the reader' has no ohjetrtion, we will elimb the mountain — at 
least in imagination, as the captain, although an obliging man 
enough, will not detain the boat for us to ascend it d^ facto — and 
sec what further discoveries we ean make. 

Provided with good I ii>rBea— always make sure of the latter on 
any trip yim may make, reader — an excellent telescope, and a 
liberal allowance of lunchetm, let us leave the l>eautiful village of 
Martinez at seven o'clock a.m. For tlie tirst four miles, we ride 
over a number of pretty and gently rolling hillg, at a lively gait, 
and arrive at the Pa(;heco Valley, on the edge of which stands 
the flourishing little village of Pacbeco. We now dash across the 
valley at giM>d speed for eight miles, in a south-east direction, and 
reach the western foot of Monte Diablo, after a good boor's 
pleasant ride. 

For tlie first mile and a half of our ascent we have a good 
wagon road, built in 1S52, to give easy access to a quartz lead, 
from which considerable rock was taken in wagons to the Bay of 
tiuisuu, and, after being shipi)ed to Kan Francisco, for the pur- 
pose ot being tested, was found to contain gold, but not iu suffi- 
cient quantities to pay for working it; for the next two miles, a 
good, plain trail to the main summit, passes several uloar springs 
of cold water. 

From the numerf)U8 tracks of the grizzly beai-s that were seen 
at the springs, we may naturally conclude that such animals have 
their sleeping apartments among the bunches of ehaparal in the 
catlnns yonder: and, if we should see the track-makers betore we 
return, we hope our companions will keep up their courage and 
■sufficient presence of mind to prevent themselves imitating Mr. 


Grizzly at tlie spring-— at least not in the direction of tlie settle- 
ment* — and leave us alone in our glory, 

Ab yon will perceive, the Biinimit of the mountain is reached 
without the neeeseity of disinoiintiug ; and as there are wild oat« 
all aronnd, and the stores of sundries provided have not been lost 
or left behind, snppuee we rtMt and refresh uiirselves, and allow 
our animals to do the same. 

The sight "f the glorious panorama unn>lled at our feet, we need 
not tell you, amply repays iis for our early ride. As we look 
aronud ug, we may oasUy imagine that perhaps the priesta wli«) 
named this mountain may huve climbed it, and as they saw the 
\v<jnder8 spread out before them, recalled tf» memory the following 
paseage of holy writ : "Tlie devil taketh him [Jesus] up into an 
exceeding high moimtain. and sheweth liim all the kingdoms of 
tlie world, and the glory i)f tliem ; and saith unto htra, All these 
lliiiigs will I give tli(«, if tlmu wilt fall down and worship me" 
I Matthkw 4tii, verses 8 and W) ; and fWHn this time called it Mim-te 
dA I^iahln. Of course, this is mere supposition, and is as likely 
to be wrong us it is to be right. 

Tile Pacific f)cean ; the city, and part of the bay of San Fraii- 
cisco; Furt Point; tlie Golden Gate; Sau Pablo and Suisun 
Bays; the government worka at Mure Island; Vallejo; Beiiicia; 
the valleys of Santa Clara, Petaluiiia, Sonoma, Napa, Sacramento, 
and San Joaquin, with their rivers, creeks, and sloughs, in all 
their ttirtiious windings ; the cities of Stockton and Sacramento ; 
and the great line of tlie snow-covered Sierras; with numerous 
villages dotting the pine forests on the lower mountain raTige — are 
all spread out before you. In short, there is nothing to obstruct 
the sight in any direction; and, with a got>d glass, the steamers 
and vcaaels at anchor in the bay, and made fast at the wharves of 
San Francisco, are distinctly visible. 

Stock may be seen grazing, in all directions, on the mountains. 
To the very sninmit, wild oats and chaparal alternately grow. In 
the calions are oak and pine trees from fifty to one hundred feet 
in heiglit ; and, on the more exposed portions, there art.; low troea 
from twenty to thirty feet in Iieight, 



lu tlie fall BL-asoii, wlieu the wild oats and dead biitiltea are per- 
fectly dry, the Indiane sometimes set large portions of the sm-face 
of the mountainB on fire ; and, when the breeze Is fresh, and the 
night is dark, and the lurid flames leap, and curl, and sway, now 
to thia Bide and now to that, the spectacle presented is magnificent 
beyond the power of language to exi»ree8. 


The Sacramento boat, we see, is going straight forward, and 
will 8oon enter the Sacramento River, up which her course lies ; 
while oura is to the right — past "New York of the Pacific," a 
place now containing only two or three small dilapidated houses, 
but which was once intended by speculators to be the great com- 
mercial emporium of tliia coast— up the San Joaquin. 

The evening being calm and sultry, it soon becomes evident 
that, if it is not the height of the miiBqnito seaBun, a very nnnier- 
ous band are out on a freebooting excursion; and, although 
their harvest-home song of blood ia doubtless very musical, it is 
matter of regret with ua to confess that, in our opinion, but few 
persons on board appear to have any car for it. In order, however, 
that their musical efforts may not be entirely lost sight of, they — 
' the musiiuitoft — lake pleasure in writing and impressing tlieir low- 
refrain, in red and embossed notes, upon tlie foreheads of the 
I passengers, so that he who looks may read. "Mu8quitos!"when, 
I rIsbI such is the ingrnlitnde felt for favors so voluntarily per- 
[ formed, that flat-handed blows are dealt out to them in impetuous 
I baste ; and blood, blood, blood, and flattened musquitoa, are 
[ Written, in red and dark brown spots, upon the smiter ; and the 
I notes of those singers are heard no inttre I 

While tlie unequal warfare in going on, and one carcass of the 
IfBlain induces at least a dozen of thu living to come to his funeral 
r And avenge his death, we are sailing on, on, up one of the most 
ft crooked and monotonous navigable rivers out of doors ; and, as 
[we may as well do something iriore tlian fight the little, bill- 
[ presenting, and tax-eollocting mnsquitos, if oidy for variety, we 
twill relate to the render how, in the early ei^ng of 1849, juBt 


3') BO:SE8 IN C,\UFORSlA. 

bifuru leaving oiir Bouthern L<niic nii the buiiks nf "The Father of 
Waters," the old Mksissippi, a gentleman an-ived friini nnrtheni 
Europe, and was at once introduced, a member ol' our little family 
circle. Now, however strange it maj apjiear, our new friend liad 
never in his life looked upon a live niusquito, or a inusqiiito-bar, 
and, consequently, knew nothing about the arrangements of a 
fiood/emme tie charge for passing a comfortable night, where eiich 
insects were even more niuncrous than oranges. Li the morning, 
he seated himaelf at the breakfast-table, his face nearly covered 
with wonnds received from the enemy's probosoie, when an in- 
quiry was made by the lady of the house if he had passed the 
night pleasantly. " Yes — yea," he replied witli stirae hesitation ; 
" yes — toler-a-bly pleasant ; although — a — stnal/ — Jli/ — aimuyed 
ine — souiewliat!" At this confession we could restrain ourselves 
no longcT, but broke out into a hearty laugh, led by our good- 
natured hostess, who then exclaimed: "MusquitosI why, I never 
dreaiued that the marks on your face were musquito bites, I 
thouglit they might be from a rash, or sometliing of tliat kind. 
Wliy, didn't you lower down your musqmto-bars i" But, as this 
latter appendage to a bed, on the low. alluvial lands of a s()uthem 
river, was a greater straiiger to him than any dead language 
known, the "small fly" problem had to be satisfactorily solved, 
and his sleep made sweet. 

Perhaps it may be well liere to remark, that the San Joaquin 
River is divided into three branches, known, respectively, as the 
west, middle, and cast channels — the latter named being not only 
the main stream, but the one used by the st^araboats and sailing- 
vessels bound to and from Stockton — or, at least, to within four 
miles of tliat city, from which point the Stockton slough Is used. 
Tlie east, or main channel, ia navigable for small, stem-wheel 
steamboats as high as Frezno City. Besides the three main chan- 
nels of the San Joaquin, before mentioned, there are numerous 
tributaries, the principal of which are the Moquelumne, Calaveras, 
Stanislaus, Tuolunme, and Merced Rivers. 

An apparently iiiteruiinable sea of tules extends nearly one 
himdred and fifty miles soutli, up tlie valley of the San Joaquin; 



and whan these are on fire, as they not uiifretjuently are, during 
the fall and early winter laontlis, tlie ]>road sheet of licking and 
leaping flame, and tlie vast volumes of stnolce that rise, and eddy, 
and surge, hither and tliithcr, prestint a spone of fearful grandeur 
at night, that is suggestive of soino earthly pandcinoiiiuni. 

Kraar souni os las 

Tlio lumbering sound of the boat's machinery has suddenly 
Iceased, and our liigh-prL-ssuns motive power, descended from a 
rregular to an occasional siiortuig, gives us a reminder that we 
Pliave rea<;lied Stotrktou. Time, half-past two o'eloek a.m. 

At day-bruak we are again disturbed in our fitful slumbers, liy 
■ 016 rumbling of wagons and hurrying bustle of laborers dis- 
RCharg^ng cargo; and before we have scarcely turned over foi* 
tanother uncertain nap, the stentorian limgs of some employee of 
■the stage companies annonnce, that " stages for Souora, Columbia. 
FMoquelumne Hill, Sacramento, Mariposa, Ooulterville, and Mur- 
l phy'e, are just about starting." 


Tiic reader knows as well as we dii, tliat it is of no use, wliat- 
ever, to ha in too great a hurry wiien we are Biglit-eeeing ; coiiae 
quently, witli Iiis permission, we will allow the stages to depar 
witliout us tliia morning, and take a quiet walk abo\it the city. 


Tliis flourishing conimereial city is situated in the valley of the 
Sun Joa<iiiin, at tlie head of a deej) navigable slough or ann of the 
San Joaquin River, about three niiteg from its junction witli tlia: 
ntn-ani. The luxuriant foliage of the trees and ghmbs impreeethe 
titrangor with the gi-eat fertility of the soil; and tlie unusually 
large number of windniills with the manner of trrigatJon. So 
marked a feature as the latter has seeured to this locality the COg^ 
nonifii of " the City of Windmills." 

Tlie lautl Upon which the eity stands is part of a grant made by 
(lovernor Mieheltorena, to Captain C. M. Weber and Mr. Gulnac, 
ill |S44, who most probably were the first white settlers in the 
Viilli'V "f the San Joaijuin; although some Canadian Frenehmen, 
in lilt' iiiii|il"J' "f *'"* Hudson Bay Cuuipany, spent several hunt- 
hiu nciisoiis here, commencing as early as 1834. 

Id ISlff, mi nx])h>riiig expwlitifHi, under Lieutenant Gabriel 
Miil'ilUOi vi"lted this valley, and yave it its ])resent name — the 
nmniT """ being "Vulle de low Tularei*,'' or Valley of Kuslies. 
A| iIihI time, it was ocoupietl hy a large and formidable tribe of 
Indlnii* I'lill'"! tlie Yaeliiciimnes, who, in after times, were for the 
, |„|,Lt ,i||iiiiired and sent to the Missions Dolores ami San Jose, 
111' t|»ii>llii"li'il by llie wuall-pox, and now are nearly extinct. Under 
iW (MU'ldi'iiliiw iiill'"''"'" »'' '^'^•'' bosses by death from that fatal 
V , ,|„iy |.„Hi> Upon ^he whites, burned their buildings and 
I \i 1 ||.,,|^' «(,Hik, and forced them to take shelter at the 

iVtmO M''- Wi'ber, reinforced by a number of emigrants, re- 

t 1 1 t'lUM't" I" ''"■'" '^ wttlement; but the war breaking out, 

Ik I l»lm t'l ««'•« I't'fi'K" "' *^'^ larger settlements, mitil the 

^^ u,MitW W«» Iwl't'"'" «'"'" '^"P^"^'" "^eber, fi-om his knowledge 

'\J^muU,V. «l»t "'*• devotedness of those who had placed 

J Mis- 



Hieiiist'lveH under his comumiid, waa abl« tu reiuifr invaluable aid 
to tliy American eausc. 

Wliuii tlie war was concluded, in 1848, another and ^uccees^ 
attempt woA iiiaile to eataliltsli a prosperous settlement biire, bnt 
njion the discovery of gtAd it was again nearly deserted. 

Several earj^iies of giiods having arrived from San Francisco, for 
land trannportfttion to the soutbcni mines, were suggestive of the 
inifxirtance of this siwt for the foundation of a city, when dotli 
tents and hotiBcs sprung np as if liy magic. On the 23d of De- 
cember, 1849, a fire broke out for the first time, and tlie "Uuen 
city," as it waa then called, was swept away, causing a loss of 
about two hundred thousand dollars. Almost before the ruins had 
(teased Bmoulderiiig, a newer Bud cleaner " linen city," witli a few 
wooden buildmgs, was erected in its place, hi the following 
spring, a large proportion nf the chith houses gave place to wooden 
structures; and, being now in steam conmiunication with San 
Francisco, the new citj- began to grow Hubatantially in inijMjrtanee, 

On the 30th of March, 1850, the first weekly Stockton newspa- 
per was published by Eadelifl'u and Wliite, conducted by Mp. 
John White. 

On the same day, the first theatrical performance was given, in 
the Aswembly Room of the Bttwkton House, Ly SfessrB. Bingham 
and Fury. 

On the 13th of May following, the first election was held — the 
]Mjpulati<m then numbering about two thousand four hmidred, 

Juno 2fltli, a fire department was organized, and J. E. Nuttmaii 
(tluftt^Nl chief engineer. 

( tn the 2Bth of the following month an order was received iruin 
the County CVinrt, incorjMirating the city of Stockton, and authoi^ 
iKJiig tlie election of oflicers. On the Ist of August, 1850, an 
olw^lioii for uinnicipal officers was held, when seven hundred 
Votes wci-o |>olled, with the following result: — Mayor, Samuel 
J'urdy; Uo<-ordcr, (\ M. Teak ; City Attorney, Henry A. Crabb; 
Trcaniirer, (lci>rgi' D. Bnish; Assessor, C. Edmondson; Marshal, 
T. H. I.nbbock. 

On tbii lirh id' Miiy, 1851, a fire broke out that nearly de.stroyed 




the whole citj, at a loss of one iiiillioo live 
liuiidred thousand dollars. After this coii- 
llagrfttioD, a large number of brick biiilditi^g 
were erected. 

In 1852, stepB were taken to biiild a t'ily 
Hall; and about the same time, the sniitli 
wing of what is now the State Asylum Hir 
the Insane, was erected as aGen^ral Ilos^ii- 
tal ; lint which was abolished in 1853, and 
the Insane Asylum formed into a distinct 
institution by an at-t nf the I^'gielatiire. In 
l$5i, the central litiilding was added, and 
in 1^55, the kitchen, bakery, dining-rooms, 
and bath-rooms were also added. 

On the 1st of Febniary, 1856, another 
lire destroyed pi-operty to the amount of 
about sixty thousand dollars; and nn the 
30tli of July following, by the same cause, 
about forty thousand dollars' worth of proji- 
erty was swept away. 

Of chuithes, there is an Episcopal, Pres- 
byterian, Methodist Episcoj>al, Catliolic, 
Methodist Ejiiscopal Soutli, First and Sec- 
ond Baptist, Jewisli Syuagogne, German 
Methodist, and African Methodist. 

Tliere are two daily newspapers pub- 
lished here, tlie San Joaquin Sfj/uMuwzn, 
Conley and Patrick, proprietors; and the 
Stockton Daily Argus, published by Wil- 
iani Biven. Each of these issue a weekly 

Of public schools there are four — two 
grammar and two primai-y — inwhichthere 
are about two hundred scholars in daily 
atteiidamrc, and four teachers, one to each 
school. Tliere are also four private semi- 



-Dr. (Vj 

Dr. IliintV 


Bond's, and Mrt 


Stockton can boast of ]iaving the dtjepest artesian well in the 
tttate, which is one thousand and two feet in deptli, and whicli 
tlirowa out two hundred and fifty gallons of water per minute, fif- 
teen thousand iier hour, and three hundred and sixty thonsiuid 
gallons every twenty-four lioiu*s, to the height of eleven feet above 
the plain, and nine feet above tiie city grade. In sinking this well, 
ninety-six different strata of loam, clay, mica, green sandstone. 
pebbles, etc., were i>asHed through, Tliree hundred and forty feet 
from the Biirface, a redwood stump was found, imbedded in Kand. 
from whence a stream of water issued to the top. The tempera- 
ture of the water is 77° Fahrenheit — the atmosphere being only 
60^. The cost of this well wae ten thousand dollars. 

One of the pi-ijicipal features connected with the commerce of 
tills city, is the number of large freight wagons, laden for the 
mincB; these have, not inappropriately, been denominated ■'prairie 
schooners," and "steamboats of the plains," One team, belonging 
to Mr. Warren, has taken one hundred thousand pounds to Mariposn 
in four trips, thus averaging twenty-five thousand per trip. An- 
other team, belonging tii Mr. Huffman, liaiiled thirty-two thousand 
from Staple's Ranche to Stockton. Twenty-nine thousand six hun- 
dred and eighty jwunds of freight, in addition to seven hundred 
pounds of feed, were hauled to Jeimy Lind— a mining town on the 
Moqnelumne Hill road, twenty-seven miles from Stockton — by 
twelve mtiles. The cost of these wagons is from nine hundred 
to eleven hundred and tifty dollars. In length, they are generally 
from twenty to twenty-thrw! feet on the top, and from eighteen 
to nineteen feet on the bottom. Mules cost iip<in the average throe 
hundred and fifty dollars each ; and some very large ones sell as 
high as one thousand four Inmdred dollars the span. One man 
drives and tends as many as fourteen animals, guiding and driving 
with a single line. These teams have nearly superseded the use 
of pack trains, inasmuch as formerly the number of animals in 
the packing trade exceeded one thousand five hundred, and now 
it IB only about one hundred and sixty. It would be a source of 


I considerable amuseiiieut to our eaatcni frieiide, could tliej see how 
I easily these large mules are managed. Tliey are drilled like soldiers. 
\ and are almost as tractable. Wlien a teamster t-racks his whip, it 
L Bounds like tlie sharp quick report of a revolver, and is nearly as loud. 
Several stages leave Stoi^ktou daily at six o'clock a. m., a» fol- 
llows: For Sacramento City, fare five dollars; San Frauciwo, 
I fere live dollars; Souora, Columbia, and Murjiliy's Camp, fare 
l-^glit dollars. On alternate days at the same hour for Mariposa, 
l&re ten dollars — this journey is accomplished in two days; Coul- 
1 terville — changing stages at the Mound Springs, through in one 
I day — fare, seven dollars and four doUarB. making eleven dollars ; 
I Moquelumne River road, fare from one dollar to five dollars. It 
L perhaps ought to be here remarked, tliat coach fares generally dif- 
I fer, according to the number and force of "opposition" lines, wi 
I that the above must be understood as about tlie regidar charges. 


"All aboard for Murphy's!" cries the coachman; "All set!" 
shouts somebody in answer ; when, " crack goes the whip, and 
away go we." 

i There is a feeling of jovial, good-humored pleaeureableness that 
steals insensibly over the secluded residents of cities when all the 
cares of a daily routine of duties are left behind, and the novelty 
of fresh scenes forms new sources of enjoyment. Especially is it so 
when seated comfortably in an easy old stage, with the pros]iec't be- 
fore us of witnessing one of the most wonderfiil sights to be found 
in any far-off country, either of the old or new world. Besides, in 
addition to our being in tlie reputed position of a Frenchman willi 
4ia dinner, who is said to enjoy it three times — first, by anticipa- 
tion ; second, in participation ; and third, upon retrospection; we 
liave new vieMs perpetually breaking upon our admiring sight. 
As soon as we have passed over the best gravelled streets of any 
town or city in the state, witliout exception, we thread our way 
past the beautiful suburban residences of the city of Stockton, and 
emerge from the shadows of the giant oaks that stand on eiti] 
ide the road. The deliciously cool breath of early morning, laden 

^^B side 

len J 


as it 18 in spring and early Biimnier, with tlie fragrance of myriads of 
llowtirs and Bcented elirube, we inhale with an a«.^me of enjoyment 
that contrasts inexpresBibly with the akoost stifling and nnsavory 
warnith of a lilipu tian statfr-room on board a high-pressnre steamboat. 

The bracing air will soon restore the loss of appetite resulting 
from, and almost consequent upon, the excitement created by the 
novel circumstances and prospects attending us, so that wliec we 
arrive at the first publie-boiise for a change of horses, and break- 
fast is announced, it is not by any means an unwelcome sound, 
Tlie inner man being allowed abont fifteen minutes to receive 
satisfaction, and a fresh relay of horses provided, we are soon upon 
mir way again. At the " twenty-seven mile house," we again 
" change" horses. By this time the day and the travellers all be- 
romc wann together; and as the cooling land-breeze dies ont, 
the dust begins to pour in by every chink and aperture, so that 
the luxurious enjoyments of the early morning depart in the same 
way that lawyers are said to g^t to heaven — by degrees. 

At "Double Springs" we arc informed that dinner is upon the 
tabic, and at the low charge of one dollar per head, the hungry may 
i^ffectually lose their appetites and their tempers. A few miles 
lioViiild this there are signs of mining activity apparent, and we 
noon pass through the prosperous town of San Andreas. Here 
ml excellent weekly paper is piiblished, entitleit. The San Andreas 
fnilriiifid<^- Those who have never before looked upon the mo- 
f/«w intenindi of mining, would doubtless like to linger among the 
Ittlttt'to""' '^''^^ sluices, the tunuels, and shafts, and see for them- 
Milvim how and where the precious metal is obtained; but we 
iiMinl ni'l llii>cor to explain, as this department woidd occupy too 
ttiiii'li tliiii' luid space fully to describe it. 

liMoliitf Hiin Andreas, we pass through the mining towns of 
\ lun'l'i' ' 'lunp, Vallecito (here we saw a lump of pure gold, shaped 
iiL ., u irtimi iiiitalj>. which weighed twenty-six pounds two ounces), 
iV^U*'*" l^''"'' "'"' '^"^^^ ** Murphy's Camp about dark. Being 
ttult tU'\4l w id'^" ''"'^''^' welcome to the many comforts of 
HktWU"* ltt't«'l. '""' '"T""'g« ^*^' ^" '^"'■'y start for the Mammoth- 





Leaving the mining town of Muri>liy'8 Camp behind, we cross 
tile " Flat," and — about half a mile from town— prmreed, upon a 
good carriage road, up a narrow cafioii, now npon thiB side of the 
stream, and now on that, as the liills proved favorable, or other- 
wise, for the eonatniction of the road. If our vleit is supposed to 
bo in spring or early summer, every mountain side, even to the 
tops of the ridges, is eovered with flowers and flowering-shrnbs of 
great variety and beauty; while, on either hand, groves of oakb 
and pines stand as shade-giving guardians of personal eomfort to 
the dust-covered traveller on a sunny day. 

As we continue our ascent for a few milcw, the road becomes 
more undulating and gradual, and lying, for tlie most part, on the 
top, or gently sloping sides, of a dividing ridge; often tlirough 
dense forests of tall, magnificent pines, that are from one hundred 
and seventy to two hundred and twenty feet in height, slender, 
and straight as an arrow. We measured one, that had fallen, that 
was twenty inches in diameter at the base, and fourteen and a half 
inchea in diameter at the distance of one liundred and twenty-five 
feet from the base. Tlie ridges being nearly clear of an under- 
growth of shrubbery, and the"truiiks of the trees, for fifty feet 
upward, or more, entirely clear of branches, tlie eye of the 
traveller can wander, delightedly, ff>r a long distance, among the 
captivating scenes of the forest 

At different distances upon the route, the canal of tlie Union 
Water Company winds its sinuous way on the top or around the 
sides of the ridge; or its sparkling contents ruali impetuously 
down the water-furrowed centre of a ravine. Here and there an 
aqueduct, or cabin, or saw-mill, gives variety to an ever-changing 

Wlieu within abont fonr and a half miles of the Mammoth-Tree 
Grove, the surrounding mountain peaks and ridges are boldly 
visible. Looking south-east, the uncovered head of Bald Moun- 
bun silently announces its solitude and distinctiveness ; west, the 
"Coast Mountain range" forms a continuous girdle to the horizon. 


extending to the nortli and east, where the snowy tops of the 
Sierras form a iiiagnificent hack-gToiind to the glorious picture. 

While we have been thus riding and adiniring, and talkiag and 
woiidBring, and musing eoiieeming the beautiful scenes we have I 
litnessed, the deepening ehadowB of the densely-timbered forest I 
we are entering, by the awe they inBjJire — at first gently and i 
perceptibly, then rapidly and almost to be felt— prepare our minds i 
to appreciate the imposing gramleur of the objects we are about J 
to see, just as 

Tile gracefully- curling smoke from the chimneys of the Bi^l 
Tree Cottage, that is now visible ; the inviting refreshment of the' I 
inner man ; the luxurious feeling arising ti'oni bathing the hands I 
End teitiples in cold, clear water^especially after a ride or walk — J 
are alike disregarded. One thought, one feeling, one emotion — I 
tliat of vftstiiesB, sublimity, ]>rofoundnesB, pervades the whole eonl ;: J 
for there 

"The giBDt trees, in silent mnjesty, 
I.Ike pilUra. stand 'neath Hearen'a niitcliiy dome. 
'Twi)ll]<l teein that, pcrcli'd upoo their tnpiunKt hrnn 
With oiitilretch'd ftiiger, man miKht loiit^h ilie Mara 
Yol, woild he gain that height, tlic boundleit» »h; 
Wars atill M far beyond hia ucnioat reach, 
A* trom the burrowing toilBra in n mine. 
Tlwlr tg* unknown, into wlint deptliH of time 
Utillit Fancy wander aporlively. and Anem 
tlon* Hi>nfircli-Fiili(ir of tliis grove set ToTth 
IIW llwy "I'ool, wlien the primevul flood 
HmwImI tVuiii the old and etisiiged eiirtli ; 
IVfliK^x^ «"»'■' "'^'' ABsymi. kings, 
IIU llMll"''^ '" <t°l>ilnion spread; Troin age 
H« *f^ 'l'* •■P""B ''*'™ "'''' «'"?'''" g'^""' 
VIlHl Till'" thoM patrisrchs' lenfy treBses strew'd 

*I[jl («llllt-« horJw 'l«"'e ^"* Improveiiiei.i's stre 

i%M uw"'* iiil'itiiiP' "i"*^ '""'' ''° "'«''■ '""'■ 

Mum. «*!•» ''"'"'"''™ 'f"*'* toSpain a worid. 
"^ . _ii>iM nr refined. 


^\t 4«»»» I*'"*"' *'""■ ''''^''*'' ' 


hikLi iirevereot moiest them not) 
tliey mn)' aliadow miglity dtlea, reared 

Tilt, with tlie -' RverlBBtinK Bills" tli 
When "Time shall be no longerl"* 

Before wandering further amid tlie wild secluded depths of this 
foreGt, it will- be well that the horse and his rider should partake 
of some good and substantial repaat, such as he will Iita^ find 
provided, inaenuich as it is Tiot always wia(!8t,or beat, to explore 
the wonderful, or look upon the beautiful, with an empty st^>iniu-h, 
especially at\er a bracing and appetitive ridt' of fifteen miles. 
While thus engaged, let us explain some matters that we have 
reserved for this occasion. 

'b rorthcsiminK [ilny of "The Thrw 
a Legend orOalifarDiB." 

Brotliera; or. ilia 



Tilt! Mammotli-Tree Grove, 



then, is eituated in a gently b]c>- 

V. ^^K 

piug, and, as you have seen, 

1 M 


lieavily-timbered valley, on the 
divide or ridge between tlie San 
Antonio branch of the Calavoras 


River and tliL- north fork of the 

^B hi^fegS^^ 

f^^^^Bv ^ 

Stanislaus River ; mlat. SS'' north, 


B^^^^K ^ 

long. 120° 10' west ; at an eleva- 

H^^^^K 1 

tion of 2,300feet above Mnrphy's 

gjWMBaP ' 

Camp, and 4,370 feet above the 

I'B^hP s 

level of tlie eea; at a diBtance 

r ^^^B 

of ninety-seven miles from Sac- 

1 '^^^B 

ramento City, and eighty-seven 

^^Hk ^ 

from Stockton. 

-^l^r ^ 

Wlien specimens of this tree, 


with its cones and foliage, were 

^^^P^ s 

sent to Eni^land for examination, 


Professor Lindley, an eminent 

j^^^S ' = 

English botanist, considered it 

ul^^^i4i i 

as forming a new genus, and ac- 

Bfe^^^H ^ 

cordingly named it (doubtless 


l^ftS^^I s 

with the best intentions, hut still 

ij^BL^3 V 

unfairly) "Wellingtonia gigan- 

/jl^sfepj 1 

tea ;" but througli the examina- 

^^fiB^^^a ? 

tions of Mr. Lobb, a gentleman 

BOL^Jj ^ 

of rare botanical attainments, 

B^K^ E 

who has spent several years in 

i^BfiiJ ^ 

California, devoting himself to 

BI^Bq\1 2 

this mteresting, and, to him, fa- 

Hr^^'ii i 

vorite branch of study, it is de- 

^m ^HRHI" 


cided to belong to the Taxodinm 

^m ~"„^^3iii 


family, and must he referred to 

^B '^^jil 




rens; and consequently, as it is 
not a new genus, and as it has 


been properly examiued and clHssitied, it m now loiown, only, 
among scientific nicn, aa the S-qw/ia t/ignntea (semymrvirena) and 
not " Wellingtonia," or, a» some good and laudably patriotio souJb 
would have it, U> prevent the Englmli from stealing American 
thunder, "Wasbinutonia gigantea." 

i Within an area of fifty acres, there are one hundred and three 
trees of a goodly size, twenty of whicli exceed twenty-five feet in 
diameter at tlie base, and, consequently, are about seventy-five feet 
lo circumference ! 


But — the repast over — let us first walk npon the " Big-Tree 
' Stump" adjoining the cottage. You see it is perfectly Binootl', 
Bound, and level. Upon this stump, however incredible it may 
seem, on the 4th of July, thirty-two persons were engaged in 
1 dancing four sets of cotillions at one time, without sufiering any 

Iinconvenience whatever; and beaides these, there were mu- 
ncians and lookers-on. Across the solid wood of tliis stump, 
five and a half feet from the ground (now the bark is removed, 
which was from fifteen to eighteen inches in thiekness), lucasures 



twenty-five teet, and witli the bark, twenty-eight feet. Think for 
a moiiiuiit : the etiiuip of a tree vxooeiling nine yarda m iliatneter. 
and somul Ut the very centre. 

Tliia tree wiijiloyed five men for twvnty-twu fhiys in felliiij; if — 
not by chopping it down, but by horltuj it <>^ with pump aiigern. 
After the Bteni was fairly severed from iJie gtiinip, the iipi-ightneac 
lit' the tree, and breadth of its base, sustained it in its poftition. 
To aceoiiipliKh tlie feat of throwing it over, alxjiit two and a Iialf 
days of the twenty-twu wer* spent In tnsi-rtiug wedgei*, and 
'Irivuig tlieni in witli the hutts of trees, until, at last, the noble 
niouureh i>f the foreist wah forced to tremble, and tJien ti> fall, after 
braving " the l>Rttle and the brtswte" of nearly tliree tlioneand 
winters. In our eetinialion, it was a eacrilegions act; altiiough 
it IB ]Ki6i*ible. that tlie exhihitjon of the bark, among tlio iinbt- 
tieveiii of the eastern part <)f our continent, and of Europe, may 
have convineed all the "TlioinasM" living, that we have great 
facts in Califonda, that luust be believed, sooner or later. Tliis 
if ihr only palliating consideration with lis for tliis act of desccra- 

Tliia nohli! tree was three hundred and two feet in height, and 
iiiFiety-aix feet in cin'uniference at the gronnd. Upon tin' upper 
pari of till? prostate tnnik is constrnctwl a long double bowling- 


^H teet 

alley, where tlio alJiletic sport of plaj-iiig bowls may affonl a 
pastime and cliango to the visitor. 

Now let us walk, among the giant shadows of the forest, t(J 
another of these wonders — the largest tree now standing ; which, 
from its immense size, two breast-like protiiheranees on one side, 
and the number of small trees of the same class adjacent, has been 
named "The Mother of the Forest." Li the stimmer of 185+, the 
bark was stripped from this tree by Mr. George Gale, for pur- 
poses of exiiibition iu the East, to the height of one hundred 
and sixteen feet ; and it now measures in t-ircumference, witliout ■ 
the bark, at the base, eighty-four feet ; twenty feet from base, 
sixty -nine feet ; seventy feet from base, forty-three feet six inches ; 
one Imndred and sixteen feet from base, and up to the bark, 
thirtj'-nine feet six inches. Tlie full eircumferenee at base, in- 
cluding bark, was ninety feet. Its height is three himdred and 
tweiity-one feet. Tlie average thioknege of bark was eleven 
inches, although in places it was about two feet. Tliis tree is 
estimated to contain five hundred and thirty-seven thousand feet 
of sound inch lumber. To the first branch it is one hundred 
and thirty-seven feet. Tlie small black marks npon the tree 
indicate puints where two and a half in(;h auger holes were bored, 
into which rounds were inserted, by which to ascend and descend, 
while removing the bark. At different distances upward, especi- 
ally at tlie top, numerous dates, and names of visitors, have been 
cut. It is contemplated to construct a cirt^ular stairway around 
this tree. Wlien the bark was being removed, a young man fell 
from the scaffolding — or, rather, out of a descending noose — at a 
distance of seventy-nine feet from the ground, and escaped with a 
broken limb. We were within a few yards of him when lie fell, 
and were agreeably surprised to discover that he had not broken 
bis neck. 

A short distance from the above lies the prostrate and majestic 
body of the " Father of the Forest," the largest tree of the entire 
group, hall-buried in the soil. Tliis tree measures in circumfer- 
ence, at the roots, one himdre*! and ten feet. It is two hundred 
feet to the first branch ; the whole of which is hollow, and thniugh 


^^H whifili a person v&n ivalk erect. By tlie trees tliat were broken 

^^M i»ff when thiB true Iiuweii its proud head, in its fall, it is estimated 

^^f thut, wlien standing, it could not be less than four hundred and 

lliirty-flvo feet in heiglit, ■ Tliree hundri-d feet from the roots, 
uid where it was broken off by striking against another larga 
troo, it is eighteen feet in diaxaeter. Aronnd this tree stand the 
f^raceful, yet giant trunks of numerous other trees, which fonn a 
family oirele, and make this the most imposing scene in the whole 
((rove. From its iniineuse size, and the number of trees near, 
(loulitk'se originated the name. Near its base is a never-failing 
ttjiring of eold and delicious water. 

lA"t UB not linger here too long, but pass on to "The Hiisband 
ftud Wife" — B graceful pair of trees that arc leaning, witli ap- 
|iiiritiit affection, against eaeb otlier. Both of tliese are of the 
kKinii HiKe, and measure in eircumferencc, at the base, about sixty 
fimt; mid in height are about two hundred and fifty-two feet. 

A dliort distance further is "The BunitTreo;" which is proe- 
Imtii, nnd hollow from numerous burnings — in which a person can 
I'lihi III! horHobaek for sixty feet. Tlie estimated height of this 
Irim, whfn Htftiiding, was three hundred and thirty feet, and it* 
t:\fu\mfwii\uw ninety-seven feet. It now measures across the 
rmtt* Uiirly-nlno feet six inches. 

'' llurmilua," another of these grants, is ninety-five feet in oir- 
umilfuruiuw, and throe hundred and twenty feet high. On the 
trriftk "f Mli« trtK» i" cut the name of "G. M, Wooster, June, 1850 ;" 



BO that it ie possible this person may some day claim precedeiite to 
Mr. Dowd, in lliis great discovery.* At aU evente, it was tUrongli 
tlie latter that the world became acquainted witli the grove. Tliere 
are many other trees of this group that claim a passing notice ; but, 
inasmuch as they very much resemble each otlier, we shall only 
mention them Ii 

The "Hermit," a lonely old fellow, is 318 feet in height, i 
60 in cirunmference ; exceedingly straight and well formed, 

• Since writing tlio above, we ha»e made the ftcquaiotuioe of Mr. Wooator. who 
ilIsclaimB all titia to the diicov«iy, although of the same parly: and givei it to W. 
Xhilehoad, Raq., wbo, while tjing hia shoe, Looked caaually around him, and saw tbe 
-gtea, June, ISBO. 



The "Old Maid" — a stooping, brokeji-topped, and forlom- 
luoking spiiiBtur of t)ie big-tree family— is two hundred and 
sixtj'-oiie feet in height, and fifty-nine fiict in cireumferen<?e. 

As a fit companion to the aliove, though at a respectful diat^iiee 
from it, wtands the dejected-looking " Old Bachelor." Tliis trt^, 
as lonely and as solitary as the former, in one of the roughest, bark- 
rent Bpeeimens of tlie big trees to be found. In size it rather has 
tlie advantage of the " Old Maid," bemg about two hundred and 
ninety-eight feet iu height, and sixty feet in circumference. 

Near to the " Old Bachelor" is the " Pioneer's Cabin," the top 
of wiiieh is broken off about one hundred and fifty feet from the 
ground. This tree measures thirty-three feet in diameter; but, as 
it is hollow, and uneven in ita circumference, its average size will 
not he quite equal to that. 

The " Siamese Twine," as tlieir name indicates, with one large 
stem at tiie groiuid, form a double tree about forty-one feet 
upward. These are each three hundred feet in height. 

Near to them stands the '* Guardian," a fine-looking old tree, 
three hundred and twenty feet in heiglit, by eighty-one feet in cir- 

T!ie " Mother and Son" fonii another beautiful sight, as side by 
side they stand. The former ia three hundred and fifteen feet in 
height, and the latter three hundred and two feet. Unitedly, 
their circumference is ninety-three feet. 

Tlie " Horseback Ride" is an old, broken, and long prostrate 
trunk, one hundred and fifty feet in length, hollow from one end 
to the other, and in which, to the distance of seventy-two feet, a 
person can ride on horseback. At the narrowest place inside, this 
tree is twelve feet high. 

"L'ncle Tom's Cabin" is another fanciful name, given to a treo 
that is hollow, and in which twenty-five persons can be seated 
comfortably (not, as a friend at our elbow Buggests,in each other's 
IttpN, pcrhapH !) This tree is three hundred and five feet in height, 
and ninety-one feet in circumference. 

The " Pride of the Forest" is one of tlie most beautiful trees of 
lliin wi)ndiTfiil grove. It is well-ahaped, straight, and sound; 


land, altliougli nut (^uite rh large as some •>( the others, it ia, never- 
■ithelesB, a noble-look i tig iiiemher of the grovo, two hundred and 
Beeveiity-five foet hi heiglit, ami sixty feet in t^inmrnference. 


Tile " Beauty of tlie Forest" is similar in sliape to the above, 
and lueasurea three hundred and seven feet in iieight, and sixty- 
five feet in circumference. 

Tlie " Two Guardsmen" stand by the roadside, at the entrance 
(if the '• clearing," and near the cottage. They seem to be the 
sentinels of tlie valley. In height, these are three hundred feet ; 
and in circumference, one is sixty-five feet, and the other eixty- 
nine feet. 

Next — though last in being mentioned, not least in gracefulness 
and beauty — stand the " Tliree Sisters" — by some called the 
" Three Graces" — one of the most beautiful grniips {if not the 
most beautiful) of the whole grove. Together, ut tlieir base, they 
measui-e in circumference ninety-two feet ; and in height tliey are 
nearly ecjual, and each measures nearly two liuudred and ninety- 
five feet. 

Many of the largest of tbese trees have been deformed and 
otherwise injured, by the numerous and large fires that have 
swept with desolating fury over this forest, at different j»eriods. 
But a small portion of decayed timber, of the Taxodium genus, 
can be seen. Like other varieties of the same species, it is less 
aubject to decay, even M-lieii fallen and dead, than utiier woods. 

Respecting the age of this grove, there has been but one opinion 
among the best informed botanists, which is tliis^ — that each eon- 
centric circle is the growth of one year ; and as nearly three thou- 
sand concentric circles can be counted in the stump of the fallen 
tree, it is correct to conclude that these trees are nearly three tliou- 
sand years old. "This," says the Gardencr'a Calendar, "may 
very well be tnie, if it does not grow above two inches in diame- 
ter in twenty years, which we believe to be the fact." 

Could those magnificent and venerable forest giants of Calaveras 
county be gifted with a descriptive historical tongue, liow their 
recital would startle us, as they told of the manv wonderful 
changes that have taken place in California within tlie last three 
thousand years! 



■ CAL4Vlil;Aii OiLNTV. 



"Nature — faint emblem of OmnipiilcDrel 
SliHped by Uis banil — tho sljuduw or Ilia lig)it; 
The roil iu wliich ile wraps His majeHiy, 
And through wtione mnntlin;; fulds Hs doigns to show, 
Of Hia mysterinim, awful attributes 
And dajolbg Bploudora, all man's feeble tlioui[ht 
C«D grasp uncniBlifld, or visiou lioar iiucjuciiched." 


^^B Aptek the viditor ]ias lingered long among tLe scenes we hare 
jU8t dest-ribed, Iio will feel that lie 

"Could pone dajB 
Stretched in tbo shade of Iboae old cedar trees, 
Watching Iha Bunshine like a bleasiuK fall — 
The breeie like niusie waudi'riog o'er tlie boughs, 
Each tree a natural liarp— each different leaf 
A dUTerent note, blont tu one trbi thenkigjvlng." 



Tet he may entertain a deeire to look upon other wonders 

"Are but parts cif a stupendouB whole,'' 

and pay a visit to the natural caves, Tlieae caves are situated on 
McKiuney's Humbug, a tributary of tlie Calaveras Kivcr, about 
fourteen miles west of the mammoth trees, sixteen miles south, 
by the trail, from Moqiieliimiie Hill, seven miles north, from 
Murphy's Camp, nine miles east of San Andreas, and near the 
mouth of O'Neil's Creek. 

They were discovered accidentally, in Oct^jber, 1850, by Cap- 
tain Taylor, who, with others, was engaged in raining on this 
creek, and who, having iinished their mid-day repast, were spend- 
ing tile interval, before resuming their afternoon's work, in shoot- 
ing at a mark near the back of their cabin. Mr. Taylor, having 
just fired his rifle, proceeded to examine the mark, and having 
hit the centre, jiroposed that it should be placed at a greater 
distance than any at which they had ever before tried their skill; 
and was looking out for a tree npon which to place it, when he 
saw a hole among the rocks. He immediately went to it, and, 
seeing that the aperture extended into the mountain for some 
distance, he called to his eompaniona, and they conjointly (x>m- 
menced to explore it. 

But let U8 not keep the reader waiting ; and aa the following 
excellent description from the Pacific is so truthfully descriptive 
of this curiosity, we transcribe it for this work. 

" Tlie entrance is round a jutting angle of a ledge of i-ocks 
which hides the small mining town adjacent from sight. 

" Only the house of the pnjpricttir is to be seen. The country 
around is wild and romantic. Provided with adamantine candles, 
we entered through a small doonvay, which had been blasted out 
to a sufficient size. Tlience we crept along twenty-five or thirty- 
feet, threading our way through an irregular and difficult pass 
at first descending rapidly, but afterward level. Sometimes we 




led to stoop, and at othera to Lend the body in accordance 
Beam of the rocks which constitute the passage. Sud- 
denly we emerged into a lai^e vault or room, about sixty feet in 
length by twenty iu breadth, with an irregular roof, rutming up 
t in some places thirty feet. Thia room is called 


"Tile walla are dark, rough, and solid, rather than beautiful. 

f Descending a little to tiie south-west, we again made our way 

k through a long, low passage, whicli led to another room of half 

I the size of the Council Chamber, Rising from the floor of tliis 

■ room, by anotlier narrow passage, "we soon came into a third large 

, of irregular construction. Tlie roof ascends, until lost to 

sight in perfect darkness ; here, as far uji as the eye. assisted by 

the dim taper, can reaeh, the liiuo depositions present a perfect 

resemblance to a vast cataract of waters nishing from an incon- 

f.ceivable height, in a perfect sheet of foam, leaping from one great 

I- shelf of jutting rock down to otliers, onward, widening as they 

I near, in exact perspective. Tliis room is called 


■'And well does it deserve the name. Next we descended a 
B«liort distance, by another passage, and entered a small, round 
f joum, in the centre of the roof of whicli nins up a lofty opening, 
f si-xty feet high, of singular appearance. This apartment is called 


" Turning back by the Cataract, we passed an easy way by a 
r deep well of water ui>ou the left, and very singular small pools or 
reservoirs on the right. Leaving these, we soon entered a spa- 
cious room, full one liundred feet square, and of fair projKtrtionate 
height. Tlirougli another low oi)emng, we entered yet another 
great room, near the centre of which stands a large, dark struc- 
r ture, the perfect likeness of a full-robed Roman Bishop, minus the 
; whence the name for the room, the 



" Descending tlirougli anotlier sinall opening, we ente] 
room beautifully omaiiientci] with pendents fmm tbe i 
as the whitest feldspar, and of eveiy possible form. Some like 
garments liung in a wardrobe, every fold and seam (complete; 
others like curtains, with portions of columns, lialf-way to tbo 
floor, fluted and scolloped for unknown purposes; while innumer- 
able spear-filiapod stalactites, of difierent sizes and lengths, hung 
from all parts; giving a beauty and splendor to tlie whole ap- 
pearance siirpasBiug description. Once, as the light was borao 
lip along a glorious fairy stairway, and back behind solid pillars 
of clear deposits, and the reflected rays glanced through the 
myriads of varying forms, the wliote^pillars, curtains, pendents, 
and carved work, white as snow, and translucent as crystal — glis- 
tened and shone, and sparkled with a glory that surpassed in 
splendor all that we had seen in art, or read in fable. Tliia is 



" Iinmcdiiitely at the back of this, and connected with it hy dif- 
ferent openings, ia another room, now called 


" It is 90 called from the fnct, that, on one side, Buspended from 
a singular roc-k, that has the character of a mueical Goiinding- 
board, liaug a large nunihcr of stalaetites, arranged in a line very 
large at one end, and gradually increasing in eize toward the 
other, so that, if with a rod you strike the pendents properly, all 
the musical tones, from a common bass to a very high key, can 
be produced in perfection, ringing loud and clear through the 
halls, as a well-toned inatrument 

" Here the present exploration of the cave tenninates, at the 
distance of about one-sixth of a mile from the entrance." 


In 1853 it was taken up, under a pre-emption right, by Messrs, 
lUagec and Angel, who erected a large and substantial hotel ad 
I joining the cave, for the convenience of the public, at a cost of 
l^abont four thousand five hundred dollars. This hotel is coni' 
Inodioue and conitVirtable, and we shall long renieuibcr the enjoy 
Inent of our visit, and the personal atttention we rccei\fd from the 
Ri^p^cable and enterprising prn]irietnrB. 




" Here ilie grent Arehiiecl 
Dili, with curious Bkill,a pile erect 
Of carved marble." 

Thesb bridges are eitnated on Cayote Greek, alioiit Imlf way l 
tween Valii-ita anil SlcT.aTio'a Ferry, rni t.lic Stanislaus River, ! 
hold a iiifrli rank anujnjf the varied natural ohjects nt' interest a 


I beauty al»ouDding in Califoniia. Tlie enrire water of Cayote 
I Crttk nina beneath tliese Iiridgee. The bold, rocky, aad precip- 
l itoue hanks of the stream, liotli above and below tlie bridges, pre- 
I Bent a counterpart t>f wild scenery, in perfect keeping with 
l|the strange beauty and picturceqne grandeur of their interior 
I formation. 


Approaching the upper bridge from the east, along the stream, 
I the entrance beneath presents the appearance of a noble Gothic 
liuvh of massive gt^me-wurk, thirty-two feet in height above the 
I water, and twenty-five feet ui width at the abutments ; while tlie 
I lock and earth above, supjxirted by the arch, are tlurty or more 
I feet in thickness, and overgrown to some extent with trees and 
I shrubbery. 

Passing under the arch, along tlie border of the creek, the wall?, 
IflJttcnd upward to an almost perfectly formed and jminted arcli. 
lud maintaining tlieir width and (;levation ; but with here and 

■ there an irregularity, serving, however, to heighten the interest 
t *»f the beautiful scene presented. Along tlie roof, or arch, hang 
E'buiumerable stalactites, like opaque icicles, but solid as the lime- 
Kfttone, or marble, of which they are formed. 

As we advance, tlie widtli of tlie an4i increases to nearly forty 
I'J^ and ill its height to fifty feet ; and here it really seems as 
Lihougii nature, in her playful moments, detennincd for once, in 
Klier own mde way, to mock the more elaborately-worked objects 
lef art. Yet, as more in accordance with reality, wc think that 

■ from such fine natural fumiation, the noble Gothic order of arehi- 
f'tccture was first suggested. 

Here the i^pacioua t(x>{ (with a little aid from the imagina- 

I'tion) is made to resemble an imraense cathedral, with its vaulted 

Bftrebes supported by innumerable columns along the sides, with 

vliere and there a jutting portion. a& though an attempt had been 

made to rough-hew an altar, and corridor witli massive steps 

thereto ; wliile stalactites, sprin^ng from tlie bottom and side<, 

would appear like waxen candles, ready to be lighted, but for the 

1 muddy sediment which has fi)nin.-<l ujioii them. 

^^H muddy sedii 


Nor ia tiiis all, for near the foot of the altar is a natural basin 
of pure water, clear as (crystal, as tliongh purposely for a baptistiial 

NiiiiierouB other fomiafionSf some of them peculiarly grcjtesque, 
and (ithcra lieautiful, adorn the sides and roof of this tnily tiiag- 
nilii-ent subterranean temple ; one of these, tlie " rock catteade," is 
a beautiful feature, as it hears a striking resemblance to that which 
would result frani the instantaneous freezing, to perfect solidity, 
of a stream of water rolling down the rocky sides oi' the eavemoua 
formation. Others resemble urns and basins; all fonned from 
the action of, and over filled to their brims with, clear cold water, 
as it trickleB from the rocks above. 

Approaching the lower section of this iminens'c arch, its form 
becomes materially changed, increasing in width, while the roof, 
becoming more flattened, is brought down to wiihin five feet of 


■ tile water of tlie creek, Tlie entire distance tlinmgli or iiuder tliis 
I Taet natural bridge is about ninety-five yards. 


Nearly lialf a mile down the creek from the bridge described, 
18 another, with its arciied entrance dift'ering but little from the 
one already described, in size, but the fonn of the arch is quite 
different, being more flattened and liroader at the top. Advanc- 
ing beneath Its wide-si>reading arch, and passing another beauti- 
ful fount of water, issuing from a Ittw, broad basin, wrought by 
nature's own hand, we arrive at a point where a roof and snji- 
porting walls present tlie appearance of a niagtiificent rotunda, 

■ or arched dome, sixty feet in width, but with a height of only 
)en feet. 

I Here, too, are numberless stalactites, banging like opafpie 
icicles from above, while the rocky floor, where the creek docw 
Bot receive the trickling water from nbi)ve, is stnilded thick with 



Btalagmites of curious and lieaulifiil formg. Tlie lengtli of lliis 
aiT'li is about seventy yards. 

Tliese natural bridges give to tlie locality an interest exceeded 
by few in the State ; they form tlie most peniarkablo natural tun- 
nels known in the worid, serving as they do for the passage of a 
i-onsiderable stream througli them. 

The entii'e rock formation of the vicinity is limestone, and vari- 
ons are the conjectures relative to the first formation of these 
natural bridgea or tunnels. Some believing them to have been 
formed by the rocky deposit contained in, and precipitated by, 
the water of countless springs, issuing from the banks of tlie 
creek, that, gradually aecuninlating and projecting, at length 
united the two sides, tbrming tliese great areJied pa8Sag;e8. 
Others believe tliat, as these bridges are covered many feet in 
depth with rock and earth, these natm-al tunnels were but bo 
uiany subterranean passages or caverns, formed, we will not at- 
tempt to say how, but as other caverns are, <ir have been, in nearly 
all limestone formations; for were these subterranean passages to 
exist in the adjoining hills or mountains, with either one or two 
iirehes of entrance, they woiild be called cavenis. But,by what- 
cvi^r freak of uatiire fonncd, tbey are objects of peculiar interest, 
and will well rejiay the summer rambler, among the mines and 
mountains, the trouble of visiting them. Onr wonder is that so 
few, comparatively, have visited these singular specimens of 
nature's architecture. 


" Where rose the mouno^ns, tliero lo liim were friends; 

Whore rolled the ocaon, thereon wus his home: 

Where a blua elcy and glawin){ clime czteuds. 

He had the passion and the power to roam; 

The desert, forest, cavern, breakera' foam. 

Were unto hitn («mpanionship.'' 

ChOde BaroU. 
" IT thou art worn and hard beaet 
With sorrows, tbat tliou wouldst roTfcet; 
If thou wouldst read a lesson that will keep 
Tby honrl from fainting, and lliy soul from steep — 
Oo to the woods and hills," 


The reader knowa as well as we do, tliat, alllioiiyli it maj \ 
of but little consequence in point of fact, whether a spirit of n 
niance, tlie love of the grand and beautiful in scenery, the aagga 
tions or promptings of a fascinating woman — be she friend, sweal 
heart, or wife — the desire for eliange, tlio want of recreation, a 
tiie ncc<:e»ity of a restoration and recuperation of an OTertaaka 
physical or mental organization, or both — wliatever may be tb 
agent that first gives birth to the wish for, or the love of travel 
when tlie mind is thoroughly made np, and the committee of waj 
and means reports itself financially prepared to undertake th 
pleasurable task^n order to enjoy it with luxuricius zest, w; 
iQuat resolve upon four things : ^rst, to leave the " jieck of trouI| 
les," and a few thrown in, entirely behind ; second, to have noa 
but good, suitable, and genial-Iieai-ted companions; third, a sufi 
cient supply of peraimal patience, good humor, forbearance, an 
creature comforts for all emergencies; onA^fourth, not to be in 
hurry. To these, both one and all, wlio Iiave ever visitetl the Y< 
Semite Valley, we know will say — Amen. 

As there arc but few countries that possess more of the beaati 
ful and wildly pictnrcaqiie than California, it seems to us a Bin t 
neglect to cultivate the knowledge and inspiration of it. EBpeo; 

ally as licr ttiwering and pine-covered mountains; lier wtdc*Epreaii 
valleys, carpeted witli flowers ; her leaping watiirfalls ; her foam- 
ing cataraets; her niahing rivers; her placid lakes; her ever 
green and deitsely timbered forests; her gently rolling hills, cov- 
ered with blooming sbniba and trees, and wild flowers, give a 
voieelesa invitation to the traveller to look upon ber and admire. 

Wliether one sits witli religions veneration at the foot of Mount 
Shasta, or cools himself in the refreshing ebade of the natural 
caves and bridges, or walks beneath the giant shadows of the 
mammoth trees, or stands in awe looking upon the frowning and 
pine-eovered heights of the Yo-Semitc Valley, he feels that 

"A tiling or beaut;' Uajoy forever," 

and that the Califnmian's home will compare,in pietnresfpie mag- 
nififence,with that of any other land. 

In later years, other employments and Gnjoyments have been 
entertained as worthy the attention of tlie residents and visitors of 
this coai^t, than money-making. Now, there are many who throng 
the highway of elevating and refining pleasure, in spring and 
summer, to feast the eye and mind u)ion the beautiful. In the 
hope, thongh humbly, of fostering tliis feeling, we continue our 
8ket<thes of the most remarkable and interesting, among which 
doubtless stands the great Yo-Semite Valley. 


^ The early California resident will remember, that during the 
tipring and summer of 1850, much dissatisfaction existed among 
the white settlers and miners on the Merced, San Joaqnin, Chow- 
cbilla, and Frczno Rivers and their tributaries, on aecount of the 
freyuent robberies committed upon them by the CTiook-chan-cie, 
Po-to-en-cie, Noot-cho, Po-ho-ne-chee, Ho-iia-cheo, Oliow-chilla, 
and other Indian tribes on the liead waters of those streams, Tlie 
frequent repetition of their predatory forays having Ijeen attendinl 
with complete success, without any attempted punishment on the 
part of the whites, the Indians began seriously to contemplate the 


*>■* Si;l'J,-KM IN ( 'ALIFURNIA. 

liracticabilify of driving out L'virv w liiti- intrmkr iipuii tlnnr Imnt- 
iiig aiid fishing gToimds. 

At tliia time, James D. Savage bad two RttiroB. or tradiug-post», 
nearly in tlie centru of tlie affected tribes ; the ime on Little Mari- 
posa Cretik. about twenty miles sontli of the town of Mariposa, niKi 
near thu old stone fort ; and the other on Frujtno River, about two 
miles above where Jolm Hunt's store now is. ArouTid tliuse btores 
those Indiana who were most friendly, used to eungiegate ; I'ruto 
them and his two Indian wives, Eekinu and Koniiit, Savage ascer- 
tained tlie state of thought and feeling among them. 

In order to avert sueh a calamity, and without even hinting at 
his motive, lie invited an Indian ehief, who ^xjssessed much influ- 
ence with the (,'how-ehillaB and Chook-chaa-ciee, named Jobu 
Jerez, to accompany him and hia two sqnaws to San Franeiseo ; 
hoping thereby to impress Iiim with the wonders, numbers, and 
power of the whites, and through him the various tribes who 
were malcontent. To this Jerez gladly assented, and they arrived 
in San Francisco in time to witness the first celebration of tlie 
admission of California into the Union, on *the 29th of October, 
1850,* and they put up at the Revere House, then standing on 
Montgomery street. 

During their stay in San Francisco, and while Savage was pup- 
[■liasing giK>ds for his stores in the mountains, Jose Jerez, the 
Indian diief, became intoxicated, and rctiuTied to the hotel about 
the same time as Savage, in n state of boistenms and quarrelsome 
L-xcitement. In order to prevent his making a disturbance, Sara^ 
lihut him up in his room, and there endeavored to soothe him, and 
restrani his violence by kindly words; but this he resented, and 
became not only troublesome, but very insulthtg; when, after pa- 
tiently bearing it as long as lie possibly could, at a time of great 
provocation, nidiappilv he was tempted to strike Jerez, and followed 
it up with a severe scolding. Tliis very mnch exasperated the 

• Tlie newB of Ibe admitigion.'by Congresi. of Calirarnia into the UnioD, on Ibe 9th Of 
September, ISBO, was brau|[ht bf tlio mail Hleamer " Oretrati," which arrived in tlie B17 
□r San Pranoiaco uu tlio ISlh of October, 18fiQ. nlieu prepnralionB were innnedialtij- 
commended fur a geneml jubilee Ihroughoul the Blale oq tbo ISthorihat raoritli. 

Indian, and lie iudulj^eti in luunuruiis niiiltei-eU tlireats uf wliat 
he wuiild do when he went back among his uwii people. But, 
when solier, he concealed his angiy reHentment, and, Indian-like, 
sullenly awaited his opportunity for revenge. Simple, and appar- 
ently small ait was this eirfiimstance, like manv otliers equally in- 
fiignificant, it leil to very iinfortnnate results; lor no sooner had 
he returned to his own people, than he t^nninionod a council of the 
chief men of all the surrounding trilies; and from his influence 
and representations mainly, steps were then and tliere taken to 
drive out or kill all the whites, and appropriate all the horses, 
mules, oxen, and provisions tliey could find.* 

Aeeordiiigly, early one morning in the ensuing month of Novem- 
her, the Indians entered Savage's store on the Frezno. in their 
usual manner, as though im a trading expedition, when an imme- 
diate and api)arent!y preconcerted jilan of altaek was made with 
hat4-liets, criiw-hars, and arniws ; firet upon Mr. Greeley, who hatl 
charge of the sl^ire, and then upon three other white men named 
Canada, Sfiffner, and Brown, who were present. Tliis was made 
so unexpectedly as to exclude time or opix»rtunity for defence, and 
all were killed i'X(;opt Brown, whose life was saved hy an Indian 
named "Polonio** (thus christened hy the whites). jum])ing be- 
tween luin and the attacking par^, at the risk of his own pertional 
aafety, thus affording Brown a chance of escape, wliitrh he made 

I the best of, by running all the way to Quartzbnrg, at the height 

^H^ of his speed. 

^^H Simultaneously with this attack on the Frezno, Savage's other 

^^T'tore and residence on the Mariposa was attai'ked. during his 

. absence, by another band, and liis Indian wives carried off. 

Similar onslaughts having been made at different jiointa on the 

I Merced, San Joaquin, Fresno, and Chow-chilla rivers, Savage 
concluded tJiat a general Indian war was about opening, and im- 
mediately commenced raising a volunteer battalion. At the same 
time a requisition for men, arms, aiumunition, and general stores, 

M facia irere commuiiicAted U> oi bj Mr. .T, U. Cuiininghim (now in ttie To- 
'Blle^), who wu then enpagied ns clerk for Savage, and wu preaeat duriog Ihe 
'Dlercatioa between liim uiil the Indian, 



was made upon the Governor of the State (General John McDoii- 
gal), whicli waa promptly responded to by Iiim, and hustilitiee 
were at once begun. 

Dot-tor L. n. Bunnell, an eye-wituesB. belonging totlie Maripoea 
battalion, lias kindly favored ub with the following interesting 
account of this campaign: 

" Preparations were bcingmade for defence, when tJie news came 
of the sack of Savage's place on the Frezno, and of two men 
killed, and one wounded ; and close on this report came another, of 
the murder of four men at Doctor Thomas Payne's place, at the 
Four Creeks; one of the bodies being found skinned. Tlie bearer 
of the news was one who had escaped the munlercius assault of 
the Indians by the fleetness of his horse, but with the loss of an 
arm, which was amputated, soon after this event, by Doctor 
Leach, of the Freeno, 

"Tliese oc(;urreuce8 so exasperated the people, that a company 
was at onee raised and despatched to ehaBtiae tlie Indians. They 
found and attacked a large rancheria, high up on the Frezno. 
During the fight, Lieutenant Stein was killed, and William Little 
severely wounded. It is not known how many Indians were 
killed, but the whites assert that in that battle they did nothing to 
immortalize tliemselves as Indian fighters. Most of the party 
were very much dissatisfied with the result of the fight; and 
while some left for the eottlementa, others continued in search of 
the Indians. 

"In B few days it was ascertained that somefonr or five hundred 
Indians had assembled on a round mountain, lying between the 
north branches of the San Joatpiin, and that they invited attack. 
Tliey were discovered late in the afternoon ; but Captain Boling 
and Lieutenant Chandler were disposed to have a ' brush' witli 
them that evening, if for no otlier reason than to study their posi- 
tion. Their object was gained, and the captain, with his company, 
was followed by the Indiana on his return from reconnoitring, 
and annoyed during the night 

''In the moniing volunteers were called for, to attack the ranch- 
eria. Tliirty-sij: offered, and at daylight the storming commenced 


■■■with Buch fury as ia seldum witiie&eed in Indian warfare. Tbe 
runcheria was tired in eeveral places at the Hame time, in at^conl- 
ance with a previuue understanding, and as the Indians sallied 
f'rwin their burning wigwams, tJiey weru shot down, killed, or 
wounded. A panic seized many of them, and notwithstanding 
tlie fear in which their cliief, ' Jose,' was held, at such a time 
his authority was powerless to eonijffil his men to stand before the 
flames, and the exasperated fury of the whites. Joet' was iiior- 
taily wounded, and twenty-three of liis men were killed upon the 
ground. Only one of Captain Boling's party (a negro who fought 
valiantly) was touehed, aud he but slightly. It is not my pur- 
pose to eulogize any one, hut it is riglit to say, tliat that battle 
cheeked the Indians in their career of murder and robberj-, and 
did more to save the blood of the whites, as well as of Indiana, 
than any or all otlier cirt-umstances combined. 

'• In a Bubseqiienl expedition into that region after tlie organiza- 
tion of thb battiilioii. whi<-li was in January', 1851, tlie remains of 
Joefi were found still burning among the eoaU of the funeral pyre. 
The Indians tied at the approach of tlie vohmteers, not even firing 
a gun or winging an arrow, in defence of their once loved, but 
dreaded chief. 

" It will not, I think, be ont of place in this connection, to repeat 
a speech ddivend by (]!aptain Boliug on the eve of the expected 
battle. The captain's object was tn exhort tlie men to do tbeir 
duty. He <?ommenced ; — ' Gentlemen^iem — fellow citizens — 
hem — soldiers — liem — ^fellow vohmteers — hem'— (tremblingly) — 
and after a long pause, he broke ont into a laugh, and said : 
' Boys, I will only say in oondu^ion, that I hope I will tight better 
than I speak.' 

" It was during the (KK?iirrence of tlie events that have been men- 
tioned altove, tiiat the existence of an Indian stronghold was 
brought to light. When the Indiana were told that they would 
all be killed, if they did not make peace, they Mould laugh in de- 
rision, and say that they liad many places to flee to, where the 
whites could not follow them ; and one place they had, which, if 
whites were to enter, thev would be corralled like mules or 


StlKNliS I.\ r.U.lFORSIA. 

horsen. After e. gerieti of perplexing delays, Major Savage, Cap- 
tain Huliiig, and Captain Dill, with two coiii])&nies of the battal- 
ion, Btarted in search of the Indians and their (iibrallar. On the 
south fork of tlia Merced, a rauclieria was taken witliout firiug a 
gun; the orders from tlie Commissionere being in ' no case to shod 
blood nniieceesarily ;' and to the credit of our race, it was strictly 
oheymi throughout the campaign, except in one individual in- 

" Ab soon as tlie priaonere had arrived at the rendezvous designa- 
ted, near what is now called Bishop's Camp, Poii-watch-ie and 
Cow-chit-ty (brothers), chiefs of tlie tribes we had taken, despatched 
runners to the chief of the tribe living in the then unknown val- 
ley, with orders from Major Savage for liim to bring in his tribe 
to head-<iuarters, or to the rendezvous. 

" Next nioniing the chief spoken of, Ten-ie-ya, came in alone, 
and stated that his people would be in during the foUowing day, 
and that they now desired peace. The time passed for their arri- 
val. After waiting aitother day, and no certainty of their coming 
manifested, early on the following morning volunteers " were 
called for to atorm their stronghold. 

"Tlie plat?*? wherG the Indians were gnppoBwi to he living, was 
depicted in no ver^' favorable tenns ; but so anxious had the men 
become, that more offered than were desired by Captain Boliiig 
for the expedition. To decide who should go, the captain paced 
off one hundred yards, and ti>ld tlie volunteers that he wanted 
men fleet of foot, and with (>owers of endurance, and their fltness 
could bo demonstrated by a race. By this means ho selected, 
without offence, the men he desired. Some, in their anxiety to go, 
ran bare-footed in the snow. 

"All being ready, Ten-ie-ya took the lead as guide, very much 
against his In<;]ination ; and we conmienced onr march to the then 
unknown and unnamed valley. Savage said he had been ther^ 
but not by the ronte that we were taking. About half way to the 
valley, which proved about fifteen miles fnmi the rendezvous, on 
the flonlh fork, seventy-two Indians, women, and children, were 
met <(>ming in as pi-otnised by Ten-ie-ya. 

TUK Yii-ttliMlTK VMJ.KT. CH 

"They gave as an Eixciii^e for tlieir delay tlie greut depth i»f tlie 
8IIUW, whicli ill plat'ea was ovt;r eiglit finit duep. Teu-ie-ya tried 
to t-otivinco Major Savage that tliere were no more Indians in the 
valley, but the whole eomiuand cried out as with one voice, 'Let's 
go on.' Tlie major was willing to indulge the men in their desire 
to learn the truth of the exaggerated reports the ludiaiis had 
given of the country, and we moved on. Teu-ie-ya was allowtxl 
to return with his petiple to tfie rendezvous, sending in his stead a 
young Indian as guide. 

" Upon the arrival of the party in the valley, the young Indian 

lifested a great deal of uneasiness ; he said it would be inipos- 

bte to cross the river that night, aud was not certain that it could 

( crossed in the morning. It was evident that he had some 

L^ject in view; but the volunteers were obliged to content them- 

Ives for the night, resolved to be up and looking out for them- 

ves early in the illuming, for h crosiiinp, or way over the rocks 

md through the jungle into which they had been led. Daylight 

^peari^, and with it was found a ford. And such a foi-d 1 It 

Ibniished in copious abundance, water for more than ou« plunge 

nth, and that, too, to Bomc who were no admirers of hydropathy ; 

r, judging from tlieir apj>earance, had never realized any of its 


" In passing up the valley on the north side, it was soon very evi- 

; that some of the wigwams had been occupied the night 

re ; and hence the anxiety of the young Indian, lest the occu- 

ints should be suqmstsd. Tlie valley was scoured in all dire*-- 

■; but not an Indian could he found. At length, hid among 

Ehe rocks, tlie writer dist^overcd an old woman; so old, that when 

[i-ie-ya was interrogated in regard to her age, he with a smile. 

, that 'when she was a child, the muuutaine were hills.' Tlie 

I creature was provided with fire and food, and allowed U< 

"It having snowed during the night, and continuing to enow iu 
^e morning, the major ordered the return of the command, lest 
i should be hemmed in by snow. Tins was in March. ISfll 

n-ie-ja and others of his tribe asserted iniiKt imi^ilivciy that Wf 


were tlie first wliito men ever in tlie valley. Tlie writer asked 
Majur Savage, ' Have you not beuu in the valley before (' lie an- 
twered, 'No, never; I have been mistaken; it was in a ralley 
below this (since known as Cascade Valley), two anJ a halt' miles 
below the Yo-Semite.' 

'■ On our return to the rendezvous where tlie prisoners had liL-eii 
aiisembled, we started for the Comniiesioners' camp on the Frezno. 
On our way in, about a luindred more Indians gave tlifnisclve« 
up to Captain Dill's company. When within about fifteen milcr- 
of tlie Commissi oners' eamp, nine men only being left in charge, 
owing to an absolute want of provisions, the Indians fled — fright- 
ened, as it afterwai-d appearud, by the stories told them by the 
Chow-ehiilas. Only one of their number was left ; he had eaten 
venison with such a relish at the camp-fire of the whites as to »n- 
fit him for active duties; and on his awaking and finding himself 
alone among the wlittes, he thought Ids doom sealed. lie was 
told that be had nothing to fear, and soon became reconciled. 

" Upon the arrival, at tiie Commissioners' camp, of Captain Bid- 
ing and his nine men, Von-chester (!), a chief, was despatched Ui 
finii and bring in the frightened Indians. In a few days iie suc- 
ceeded in brinjfing in aho"t a hundred; but Ten-ie-ya with his 
people said lie would not return, 

" After a trip to the San Joatpiin, which before has been alluded 
to, it was resolved to make another trip to the Yo-8emite Valley, 
there establish head-quarters, and remain until we bad thomnghly 
learned tlie country, and taken, or driven out, every Indian in it. 
On our arrival in the valley, a short distance above the prominent 
bluff known as El Capitan, or as the Indians call it, Tu-toch-ah- 
nu-lah, which signifies iu their language, Tlie Captain, five Indians 
were seen and heard on the opposite side of the river, taunting 
us.. Tliey evidently thought we could not cross, as the river was 
so very high (this was in the early part of May), but tbey were 
mistaken, as six of us plunged our animals in the stream, swam 
across, and drove the Indians in among the roeka which obstruct 
the passage of animals on the north side of the valley; Captain 
Boling in the mean time crossing above the rocks, succeeded in 


I taking them all priflfmers. Tliree of tliese were kept as Iiostagee, 
I while two weri) sent to Ten-ie-ya with an order for his immediate 
J, presence. Of the three kept as hostages, two were sons of Ten-ie- 
l ya, while the two sent with a messa^, were a eon and soii-in- 
1 law. 

" Tlie writer was deH]>atc]ied by Ca]itain Boling to guard them 
I ftgainat the fire of any ainmting ])arty they miglit enoounter in the 
tVaIli;y,aiidBUfceede<l in saving them from an exa8]>erated individual 
I who was met retuming with C. H. Spencer, Esq. (now of Chicago), 


who had beeu wounded while tracing out the hiding-places of the 
Indians. When the two sent fur Ten-ieiya left, they said he would 
lie in hy ten o'clock the next morning, and that he would not hare 
ran away hut for the Btoriea told by the Cliow-chillas. On the 
morning of the day Ten-ie-ya was exi>ected, one of tin; thnjc In- 
dians eecAjKHJ. having deceived the guard. 

" S(H)n after, the t«-o remaining were discovered untying tliem- 
selves. Two men, instead of informing ("aptain Doling, that he 
might make more secure their fastenings, placed themselves nov 
their arms to watch their movements, in order, if itossilile, to die- 
tiuguish themselves. One was gratified ; for as soon as the Itidiluia 
hounded to their feet, freed from their fetters, they started to nm; 
Ten-ie-ya's youngest son was shot dead — the other escape*!. 

'•Wliile this was occurring, a party was reconnoitring the Bcene 
of Spencer's disaster, and while there, discovered Ten-ie-ya pendied 
upon a rock overltMiking the valley. lie was engaged in convei^ 
xHtion, while a party cut off hin retreat and secured lum as a pris- 
finer. Upon his entrance into the camp of the volunteers, the 
tirst object that met liis gaze was the dead body of his son. Not 
a word did he speak, but the workings of his soul were frightfully 
nianiftsBted in the dtiep and silunt gloom that oi-erR]irend his noiiii' 
tenance. For a time he was left to himself; hut after a wIiiK- 
Captain Billing exjilaincd to liira the occum^ncu, and e.\presseil 
his regrets that it should have so happened, and ordered a change 
of camp, to enable the friends of the dead boy to go uinnole^ited 
and remove the biHly. 

" After remaining inactive a day or two, hojnng that the Indiams 
Tiiight come in, a ' st^out' was made in the diret'tion of the Tin »- 
luiiine. ( )nly one Indian was seen, and he evidently had been de- 
tailed to Vatcli our movements. Various st'uuts being made to 
little puqHise. it was concluded to go as far up the river as possi- 
ble, or as fur as tlie Indians could be traced. 

"Thecoumumd felt mure confidence in lliise.spedition, from the 
fact that {'ow-chit-ty had arrived with a few of the tribe mentioned 
before as having lieen taken on the south fork i>f the Merced. 
Tliey knew the country well, and although their language differtsd 


a little from that of the Yo-Semit« tribe, yet, by means of a mifl- 
Bion Indian, who spoke Spanish and the various Indian tongues 
of tliis region, Ten-ie-ya was told if he called in liia people the^ 
were confident that we woidd not hurt them. Apparently he was 
satisfied, and promised to bring them in. and at night, when they 
were supposed to hover around our L'anip, he would call upon them 
to cotiie in ; but no Indians came. 

While waiting here for provisions, the chief became tired of his 
!, said it was the season for grass and clover, and that it was 
tantalizing for him to be in eiglit of such abundance, and not be 
permitted to taste it. It was interpreted to Captain Boling, when 
he good humoredly said that he should have a ton if he desired it. 
Mr. Cameron {now of Los Angelos) attached a rope to the old 
man's body, and led him out to graze! A wonderful improve- 
nieut took place in his condition, and in a few days he looked like 
a new man. 

"Witli returning health and strength came the desire for liberty, 
and it was manifested one evening, when Mr. Cameron was oS his 
guard, by his endeavor to escape. Mr. Cameron, however, caught 
him at tlic water's edge, as he was about to swim the river. Then, 
in the fnry inspired by his failure to escape, lie cried : ' Kill me 
if you like ; but if you do, my voice shall be heard at night, call- 
,ing upon my people to revenge me, in louder tones than you have 
ever made it ring.' (It was the cuatom of Captain Boling to ask 
him to call ftir his people.) 

*' Soon after this occurrence, it being manifest to all that the old 
man had no intention of calling in his people, and the provisions 
arriving, we commenced our march to the head waters of the Py- 
we-ah, or branch of the Merced, in the valley on which is situated 
Mirror Lake, and fitteen miles above the valley lake Ten-ie-ya. 
At a rancheria on the shore of this lake, we found thirty-five 
Indians, whom we took prisoners. With this expedition Captun 
Boling took Ten-ie-ya, hoping to make him useful as a guide ; but 
if Chow-chit-ty, who diseovei-ed the rancheria, had not been with 
ns, we probably would have gone back without seeing an Indian. 
In taking this rancheria no Indians were killed, but it was a deatli- 



Aar \i nin iif li ililTii|, nil hw ig g affmmt *fca whites, for 
iked if A^ were wSIm^ tog* mBB^fiv* peaceftblr, the 
diefnhiu»ffq>fejm wnoflUmgdtoqteafc) sOretcb- 
haami ••< wad ovnr cbe eomUrj. cvbiued : ' X»t ont; 
bt m k tAH can we py that the Anetieans do 

**b ma cvidcKC tkat dutv had bo( arad q p « tBd as to follow 
theni tt» m> itdtoi a pEaee ; aad >an o — ded ae tbejc vere b v snow, 
tC waa iw|if iMt W Acm to fee, aod taks with them their 

''Oneof thc^Bdr^aho^fireoraix Tean(4(t,«afi difettvered 
■afcrrt. '''■*V"p ap a iiiaiiiilh gnaite tlope ihat rises from the lake 
OB the BorA nde. At fint he waa thon^t ta be a n>ou or a 
flaber, for it wi« ant tbuogfat pcMsibte for any bmaan bc-in^ to 
dimb op Mich a alope^ The mysterj was aooo eolred bj an Indian 
who went tfot Vt him, coaxed him down Emm hie pinions poettion, 
and bfioglit hiu into tramps He wag a bri^t bov, and Captain 
Bolin^ ad'rpted him. eallin^ him Renb. after Lieatenant Reuben 
Chandler, wbo was. and is, a great far.jrilc with the volnnteere. 
He was »enl to school at Stoektoo. and made rapid pn^^reee. To 
0ve iiitn adriinlage« that he njuld out ubtain tn Maripu^a oonnty 
at tliat lime, he waa placed in cliar^ of Colunel Lane. Captain 
Jl4j|inf;'i« brother^! n-law. To illmtrate the fviliv, a« a general thing. 
of att«mpting to cirilize his race, he ran away, taking with him 
two very valnable horses belonging to bis patrvm. 

*' We encamped un tlie ehore« of the lake one oighL Sleep was 
pnivetibxl by the exccwirc cold, eo in the gray of morning we 
iitartMl with onr priadnera on our retmij to the valley. Tliis was 
alKiilt the 5tli of Juno; wc had taken at the lake four of old Ten- 
{(vyu'i wivM and all of Ins family, except those who liad fled to 
thit M<""' W'n'O'' tl'f^iigh 'he pa«9 which we saw while on this 
u)iw<li''""i «'"'. ^"^''"8 '**''*^'''^ til tit all had beeu doue that could 
. niid not II frcwli Indian sign to he bccu in the countrj% we were 

1 nil I" tl'^' l*'^'^""- "^"^ hattaliou was Boun after disbanded. 

1 tliiiiK more waa heard of the turbulent Ten-ic-ya and hia 

1 r oilliiK'"' In*!'*"* ("i"'!** ''*<i heen allowed once more to go 


Ijack to the valley upon the promise of good behavior), until the 
report caine of tlieir attack upon a party of whites who visited 
llie valley in 1853, from Coaree-Goid Gulch, Frezno county. 
Two men of the party, Itese and Shurbon, were killed, and a 
man named Tudor wounded. 

" In June, Lieutenant Moore, acconipamed by one of Major Sav- 
age's men, A. A. Gray, and some other volunteers, visited the valley 
with a company of United States troops, for Uie purpose of chae- 
tiaing the murderers. Five of them were ftiund and immediately 
executed ; the wearing apparel of the murdered men being t'ounit 
upon them. This may shock the sensibilities of some, but it is 
conceded tliat it was necessary in order to put a quietus upon the 
murderous propensities of this lawless band, who were outcasti; 
from tlie various tribes. After tlie murder, Ten-ie-ya, to escape 
tlie wratli he knew awaited liim, fled to the Monos, on the eastern 
side of the Sierra. In tiio mmimer of 1853, they returned to the 

"As a reward for the hospitality shown tliem, tbey stole a 
lot of horses from the Monos, and ran them into the Yo-Semite. 
They were allowed to enjoy their plunder but a short time before 
tlie Monos came down upon them like a whirlwind. Ten-ie-ya 
was surprised in his wigwam, and, uistead of dying tlie very poetic 
death of a broken heart, as was onee stated, he died of a broken 
head, cnished by stones in the hands of an infuriated and wronged 
Mono chief. In this fight, all of the Yo-Semite tribe, except 
eight braves and a few old men and women, were killed or taken 
prisoners (the women only taken as prisoners), and thus, as a tribe, 
they became extinct. 

"It is proper to say, what I have before stated, that the Yo-Sem- 
ite Indians were a composite race, consisting of the disaffected of 
the various tribes from the Tuolumne to King's River, and hence 
the difficulty in our understanding of the name, Yo-Scmite ; but 
that name, upon tlie writer's suggestion, was finally approved and 
applied to the valley, by vote of tlio volunteers who visited if. 
Whether it was a compromise among the Indians, as well as with 
I «B, it will now be difficult to ascertain. Tlie name U now well 


established, and it ia that by which the few reraaiiiiiig Indians 
below the valiey call it. 

" Having been in every expedition to the valley made by volun- 
leurs, and since that time assisted George II. Peterson (Fremont's 
cngiueer) in liia surveys, the writer, at the risk uf appeariug ego- 
ilstieal, claims that he had Guperior advantages for obtaining cor- 
rec-t infoniiation, more especially as, in the first two expeditions, 
Ten-ie-ya was placed under hia especial charge, and he acted aa 
interpreter to Captain Boling. 

" It is acknowledged that Ah-wah-ne is the old Indian name for 
the valley, and that Ah-wah-ne-chee is the name of its original 
occupants ; but as this was discovered by the writer long after he 
had named the valley, and as it was the wish of everj' volunteer 
with whom lie conversed that the name Yo-8emite be retained, 
he said verj' little about it. lie will only say, in conclusion, that 
the principal facts are before the public, and that it is for them to 
(ievide whether they will retain the name Yo-Semite, or have 
bome other. L. II. Bcnnkli,. 

" We, the undersigned, having been members of the same eom- 
jiaiiy, and through most of the scenes depicted by Doctor Bun- 
nell, have no hesitation in saying, that the article above is correct. 
" James M. Roane, 
" Geo. II. Crenshaw." 

We cheerfully give place to the above communication, that the 
public may learn how and by whom this remarkable valley was 
first visited and named ; and, although we have differed with the 
writer and others concerning the name given, as explained in sev- 
eral articles that have appeared at different times in the several 
newspapers of the day, in which Yo-ham-i-te was preferred, yet, 
as Mr. Bunnell was the first to visit the valley, we most willingly 
accord to him the right of giving it whatever name he pleases. 
At the same time, we will here enter the following reasons for 
calling it Yo-ham-i-te, the name by which we have been accus- 
tomed to speak of it. 

In the summer of 1855, we engaged Thomas Ayrcs, a well- 


mown artist of San Francisco {wlio unfortunately lost liis life not 
long since, by the wreck of the schowner Laura Bevan), to aucoin- 
pany us on a skettiliiiig tour to the Big Trees and the valley above 

Iitded to. 
When we arrived at Mariposa, we found that the existence 
en of 8ueh a valley was almost unknown among a large ma- 
rity of the people remding thure. We made many inquiries 
ipecting it, and how to find our way there ; but, althougli one 
ferred us to another who hud beeu there after Indians iu 1S51, 
utd he again referred us to some one else, we could not find a 
single person who could direct us. In this dilemma we met Cap- 
tain Boling, the gentleman spoken of above, who, although desir- 
ous of assisting us, confessed that it was so long since he was 
there, that he could not give us any satisfactorj- directions. 
" But," said he, " if I were yon, I would go down to John Hunt's 
store, on the Frezno, and he will provide you with a couple of 
good Lidiau guides from the very tribe that occupied that \alley." 
We adopted this plan, although it took us twenty-five or thirty 
luiles out of our way ; deeming such a step the most prudent 
under the circumstances. Up to this time we had never heard or 
known any other name than " Yo-Semite." 
^^^^ Hr. Hunt very kindly acceded to our request, and gave us two 
^^Hk tlie most intelligent and trustworthy Indians that he had, and 
^^^Sie following day we set out for the valley. 

Toward night on tlie first day, we inquired of Kossuni, one of 
our guides, how far he thought it might possibly be to the Yo- 
Semite Valley, when he looked at ua earnestly, and said : '• No 
Yo-S'-mite .' Yo-IIamitf ; sabe, Yo-IIam-i-te.f" In this way were 
i correctetl not less than thirty-five or forty times on our way 
ititlier, by these Indians. After our return to San Francisco, we 
made arrangements for publishing a large lithograph of the great 
falls; but, before attaching the name to the valley and falls for 
tlie public eye, we wrote to Mr. Iliint, retjuesting him to go to 
the most intelligent of those Indians, and from them ascertain the 
exact jironunciation of the name given to that valley. After at- 
tending to the request, he wrote us that " (Ac correct prommoia- 



Hon was Yo-Ham-^te, or To-Hem-i-te.'''' And, while we most 
willingly acquiesce in tlje name of Yo-Semite, for the reasons 
above stated, as neither that nor To-Eain-i-'te, but Ah-wah-iu, is 
said to be the pure Indian name, we confess that our preferences 
still are in favor of the pure Indian being given ; but until that is 
determined upon (which we do not ever expect to see done now), 
ITo-Si'mite, we think, has the preference. Had we before known 
that Doctor Bunnell and his party were the first whites who ever 
entered the valley (although we have the honor of being the first, 
in later years, to visit it and call public attention to it), we should 
long ago have submitted to the name Doctor Bunnell had given it, 
as tlie discoverer of the valley. 

At the time we visited it there was scarcely the outbne of an 
Indian trail visible, either upon the way or in the valley, as alt were 
overgrown with grass or weeds, or covered with old leaves; and 
nothing could be found there but the bleaching bones of animals 
that had been slaughtered, and an old acorn post or two, on which 
a supply of edibles had once been stored by the Indian residents. 
Haring thus explained the incidents connected with tlie early 
history of this remarkable place, we invite the courteous reader to 
give us tlie pleasure of his eompany thither. 


These routes, tike those to tlie mammoth trees of Calaveras, are 
very numerous, and consequently cannot be fully described in this 
work ; but the principal ones, and these at present most travelled, 
are via Stockton and Coulterville, Mariposa, and Big-Oak Flat ; 
Stockton or Sacramento City being the starting-point for persons 
living adjacent to San Francisco. 

The Coulterville stage leaves Stockton at six o'clock a. m. on 
each alternate day, arriving in Coulterville the same evening about 
eight or nine o'clock T. u. At twelve o'clock midnight, it de- 
parts from Coulterville, and returns to Stockton about ttree 
o'clock p. M., in time for the San Francisco boats. Fare to the 
Crimea House, seven dollars ; from the Crimea House, via Don 
Pedro's Bar, to Coulterville, four dollars. 


The Maripoea Btage also leaves Stockton at six o'clock a. m. 
on alternate days, arriving in Homitae the same evening, and 
Mariposa about eleven x. H. the day following ; through fare, 
ten dollars. 

The Big-Oak Flat stage, via Sonora or Columbia, leaves Stock- 
ton daily at six o'clock a.m., reaching Sonora or Columbia the 
I Bame evening, and on the following day arrives at its destination, 
I about noon. Fare to Sonora, eight dollars ; from Sonora to Eig- 
1 Oak Flat, three dollars and filly cents. As we have before re- 
I marked, these rates of fare change a little according to the amount 
I o£ opposition between the different stage companies. 

As the route to the valley at present most travelled, probably, is 
I vuz Stockton and Coulterville — although we do not know why, 
J either of the others being equally agreeable — we shall describe 
I that more fully. 

Leaving Stockton, then, we journey over a level and oak-studded 

I plain, to the '-Twelve-Mile House," where we change horses and 

I take breakfast, which generally occupies from ten to twenty min- 

ntes. The country then gradually becomes gently rolling, and 

although covered with wild flowers, is almost barren of ti-ees or 

Bhruhs. We again change horses at the Twenty-five Mile House. 

I At noon we reach Knight's Ferry, where a group of sturdy miners 

I is congregated in &ont of the hotel, and a bell announces that 

dinner is ready. 

After taking refreshments, with loss of our appetites and forty- 
V five minutes, we not only again change horses, but find ourselves 
and our baggage changed to another stage^ — as the newest and best 
looking ones seemed to be retained for the comparatively level and 
city end of the route, while the dust-covered and paint-worn are 
need for the mountains. 

At the Crimea House, our " bags and baggage" are again set 

L down, and after a very agreeable delay of one hour — during which 

f time the obliging landlord, Mr. Brown, informs us that errors of 

route and distance have been made by journalists, who were not 

I quite famihar with their subject, and by which those persons who 

" in private carriages were liable to go by La Grange, some 


five milea out of tlieir way — a new line as well s 
taken, known aa tlie " Sonora and Coulterville." 

About six o'eliwk p. m. we reacli Don Pedro's Bar. But for an 
imiiBual number of passengerSj we should most likely be subjected 
to another change of stage : now, fortunately, the old and regular 
one will not contain us aU, so that the only change made is in 
horses, and after a delay of twelve niiniites, we are dashing over 
tlie Tuolumne River, across a good bridge. 

Kow the gently rolling hille begin to give way to tall moun- 
tains ; and tlie quiet and even tenor of the landscapes change to 
the wild and pietui-esque. Up, up we toil, many of us on foot, ae 
our liorses puff aiid bnort like miniature locomotives from hauling 
but little more than the empty coach. The top gained, our road 
lies through forests of oak and nut pines, across flats, and down 
tlie sides of ravines and gulches, until we reach Maxwell's Creek ; 
from which point an excellent road is graded on the side of a steep 
mountain, to Coulterville; and all that we seem to hope for, is 
that the stage will keep u^mn it, and not tip over and down into 
the abyss that is yawning below. Up this mountain we again have 
to patronize tlie very independent method of going " aff>ot ;"' and 

wliilo aeiiending it, our party may probably be etartleti by a rust- 
ling soimd from among the bushes below the road, where shadowy 
human forma can be seen moving slowly toward us. Hearts beat 
quick, and images of Joaquin and Tom Bell's gang rise to our 
active fancies. "They will rob and perliaps murder us," suggests 
one. "We can die but once," retjirts another. "Oh,dearl what 
is going to be the matter!" exclaims a third, "Let us all keep 
close together,'' pantomimes a fourth. 

"Tliat's a hard old mountain," exclaims the ringleader of a 
party of miners, who are climbing the steej) sides of the mountain, 
with their blankets at their backs, and who have caused us all onr 
alarm, as he and his companions quietly seat themselves by tlie 
side of the road. " Good evening, gentlemen.'" "Good evening," 
" Why, bless us. these men who have almost frightened us out of 
our seven senses, are nothing but fellow-travellers!" "Can't you 
see tliat J" now valonmsty inquires one whose knees had knockod 


on control! ably togetlier with fear only ii few moments before. 
At this we all laugh ; and the driver lia>"ing stopped the stage, 
teys, "Get in, gentlemen," and we have enough to talk and joke 
about, until we reach Coultei'ville. Here, by the kindness of Mr. 
Coulter (the founder of the town), our mnch-needed comforts are 
duly cared for ; antl, otter making arrangements for an early start 
on the morrow, let us retire for the night, well fatigued with the 
jonmey; having been upon the road fifteen hours, perhaps. Tlie 
) following table will probably give an approximating idea of the 
I time and distance made between Stockton and Coulterville: 

I Lelt StocktMl It s quarter pasl aix a. h. h, n. 

Ti Stockton to Twelve Mile House 1.36 

From Stocltlon lo Twenty five Mils Houae 4.16 

I From Slooklmi lo Fool H ilia 4.3fi 

, From SWeklon to Kniglil'a Ferry 6.40 

From Stockton lo Rock River House hicluding delentinn Tor dinner). . . 7.40 

'rom Sioeklon to Crimea Hoiino B.40 

Here we e^ccliange stages, and delay one hour. 

Vom Btocklon to Don Pedro's Bar (including delay at Crimea Home).. . 11.30 
I Vmn Stockton to Couiterrllle (exchange horaea, and delayed twelTO 

minutes) 16.30 


Our first con si derations the following morning are for good 

animals, provisioms, cooking utensils, and a guide— tlie former 

(ail but the good) are probably supplied by a gentleman who 

I rejoices in the uncommon and aomewhat ancient patronymic of 

I Btnith, at about twenty-five dollars per head — almost the original 

r cost of each animal, judging from their build and speed — for a 

trip of eight days. 

For the supply of provisions and cooking utensils, Mr. Coulter 
and the guide will relieve us of all anxiety; and at or about a 
1 quarter to nine the nest morning, wo may be in our saddles ready 
ffoT the start. How we are attired, or armed ; what is the impres- 
i produced upon the bystanders ; or, even, what is our own 



opinion of uiir jieriioiiiil aiii>enriiiii-e, is a matter of inilitferem-e. or 
should be. 

For the lii-st three or four miles, our road is u|> ii rongli, iitotiQ- 
tainoiiB point, tlirough di;nse chaparal bushes that are growing on 
both sides of us, to a high, bold ridge ; and from whence wo ob- 
tain a splendid and comprehensive view of tlie foot-hills and 
bnjad valley of the San Joaquin. At tliis point we enter a vast 
forest of pines, cedars, firs, and oaks, and ride leisurely among 
their deep and refreshing shadows, oeeaaionally iiasaing saw-mills. 
or ox-teams that are hauling logs or Inniber, until, at about halt- 
past one p. M., twelve miles distant from Coultcrville, we reach 


This is a singular grotto-like formation, about one hundred feet 
in depth and length, and ninety feet in width, and which is 
entered by a passage not more than three feet six inehos wide, 
at (lie northern end of an opening aonie seventy feet long by 
thirteen feet witle, nearly covered witli nmning vines and maple 
trees, that grow out from within tlie eave. When tliese are 

drawn wide, we look into a deep a'bysB, at tlie bottom of wliicli 
is a small alieet of water, iiiaile sliadowy and mysterious by 
overbangiDg rocks and trees. On entering, we walk down a 
fligbt of Jjfty-two Hteps, lo a newly-<tonBtPucted wooden platfonn, 
and from wbeuee we can citber pick our way to tbe water below, 
or ascend anotlicr fligbt of steps to a smaller cave above. But 
althougb tliere is a singular charm about this spot tliat amply re- 
pays a visit, we must nut linger too long, bnt pay our dollar* (fifty 
t;cnts too niiieb), and, as tlie day is pmbably hot, and the ride r 
novulty, it will be well for us to take a long siesta here, not fiiirly 
starting before three o'clock i-. m. 

Prom this point to " Blaek's Ranch," our live miles' ride is 
delightfully cool and pleasant, and, for the most part, by gradual 
ascent up a long gulch, shaded in places with a dense growth of 
^timber, and occasionally across a rocky point to avoid a long 
tetonr or difficult passage. This part of our journey will occupy 
■ about two hours. 
t On account of the steep hill-side upon which our trail now lies, 

[ the 


habits of s 

( of 

r horses, this ride may be at- 

IB been reduced to ttttj ct 


tended witli some little danger, and requires — in coueideration of 
tLe value, on such a trip, of a sound neck, if only for the conve- 
nience of tlie tiling— that we remember, and practice, too, the 
Falstaffian motto cuneerning discretion, and take it ieiaurely, until 
we arrive at Deer Flat, six miles above Black's. 

Ab there may not be the convenience of a hotel at this point, 
it will be well for ub to make the best of camping out, and, after 
a good hearty meal lias been discussed, commence preparations 
fur passing the night, as eomfui-tably as possible, in our star-roofed 

chamber, where, on account of the 
may bo kept until long past midnight, 

;hy of our situation, we 

Deer Flat is a beautiful green valley of about fifteen or twenty 
acrea, surrounded by an amphitheatre of pines and oaks, and being 
well watered, makes a very excellent cam]Hng-ground. By the 
name given to thia place, we might think that some game prob- 
ably will reward an early morning's bunt, and accordingly, about 
daybreak, sally out, prepared for dropping a good fat buck, and 
find that no living thing larger than a dove can be started up. 



It 18 always vcU, on such tripa, to get an early start; for. 
ftltliougli not in poseession of the brightest of feelings, either 
mental or pbvaical, we no sooner become fairly npon oiir way, 
than the wild and heautiful st-enes on every hand make ub forget 
the broken slumbers of tlie night, and the imsatiMfaetory breakfast 
the morning. As we joiiniey on, we reach Uazel Green in 
■ut two Itoura — six miles distant fi-om Deer Flat. 
From this point, the distant landseapes begin to gatlier in iii- 
it and beauty, as we thread our way through tlie magnifieeni 
it of pinea on the top of the ri«lge. Here, the green valley, 
down on the Mereed ; there, tlie snow-elothed Sierra Ne- 
i, witli their rugged peaks towering np ; and, in the sheltered 
illuws of their base, nature's snow-built reservoirs glitter in the 
Mm, Tliosc are glorious eights, amply sufficient in themselves to 
repay the fatigue and trouble of tlio journey, without tlie re- 
nmining climax to be roatrlied when we enter the wondrous valley. 
In about two hours more we Crane Flat, six miles from 
Grccu, where, as there is plenty of grass and water, we may 
well take lunch, and a good rest. 
It will be necessary, here, to remark that this flat is frequently 
for camping purposes, for one or more days, to allow of an 
(portunity of visiting several large trees that arc growing a 
rt distance below it. As the reader would, no doubt, like to 
it these trees, we will briefly refer to tbem, 


After leaving the flat, a slight detour to the right, of abont a 
1? and a half, will bring us into the vicinity of these trees. Tbey 
lODsist iif a small cluster growing near the steep side of a deep 
and belong to the same idass aa thote found in Calu- 
., and other districts. Two of them, whidi grow from the 
same root, and unite a few feet above the base, are, on this 
account, called "The Siamese Twins." Tlicae are about one 
hundred and fourteen feet in circumference at the ground, and, 


consequentlj-, about thirty-eight feet iu diaiiieter, incluOiug both. 
Tlie bark has been cut on one side of one of tliese, and fuiind to 
measure twenty inelies in thickness. Near the "Twins," and in- 
tereperaed among other trees, are five others of the same kind. Two 
of theee measure about seventy-six feet in circnniferenee, Tlieir 
average lieight is about two hundred and fifteen feet; and they 
are jierfectly straiglit. 

Tile visitor will experience no difficulty in finding this small 
grove of large trees, on account of tlie trail to tliein being well 
worn. But he will find the journey somewiiat laborious, owing 
to the steepness and length of the descent and ascent. 


It ia difiScult to say whether tite exciting pleasures of antici- 
pation quicken our pulses to the more vigorous use of our spurs, 
or that the horses already smell, in imagination at least, tlie lux- 
uriant patches of grass in the great valley, or that the road ia 
better than it has been before : certain it is, from whatever cause, 
we travel faster and easier than at any previous time, and come 
iu sight of the haze-draped summits of the mountain- walls that 
girdle the YfrSeinite VaUey, in a cuuple of hours after leaving 
Crane Flat — distance, nine miles. 

Now. it may bi:i happen that the reader entertains the idea that 
he can just look upon a wonderful or an impressive scene, and 
fully and accurately describe it. If so, we gratefully tender to 
him the use of our chair ; for we candidly confess that we cannot. 
The truth is, the first view of this convulsion-rent valley, with its 
perpendicular mountain cliffB, deep gorges, and awful eliasms, 
s])read out before us like a mysterious scroll, takes away the 
jmwer of thinking, mnch less of clothing thoughts with suitable 

Tlie following words from Iloly Writ will the better convey the 
impression, not of the thought, so mueh, aa tlie profound feeling 
inspired by that scene ; 

"And I beheld when he had "pened the sixth seal, and, lo! tliena 
wu!- 11 great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackclotll 

Iiair, aud tliu moon bwrame as bluud, ami the stare of heaven 
fell niito tlie earth, even as a fig-tree caetetli Ler untimely figs, 
when ehe is shaken of a iiiiglity wind. 

And the lieaven departed as a Bt-rrjll when it is rolled together, 
every mountain and island were moved out of their planes. 

" And tlie kings of the earth, and the great men, and the ridi 
leu, and the chief captains, and mighty men, and every bond- 
man, and every freeman, hid themselves iti the dens and in the 
rocks of the uionntains ; and said to the uionntains and rocks. 
Fall on UB, and hidu ns from the face of Ilini that sitteth on the 
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb ; for tlie great day of His 
wrath is come, and who shall bo ablo to stand (" 

"This verily is the stand-point of silence 1" at length escapes 
ill wliisperiug hnskiness, fn)m the lipB of one of our number, " Jjit 
ns name this spot Tho Si and- Point of Silenoe." And so let it be 
written in the note-book of every tourist, as it will be in his 
inmost soul when he looks at the appalling grandeur of the Yo- 
Semite Valley from this spot. 

We would here surest, that if any visitor wishes \t) see this 
valley in all its awe-inspiring glory, let him go down the outside 
of tlie ridge for a ijnarter of a mile, and then descend the eastern 
side of it for three or four hundred feet, as from this point a high 
wall of rock, at your right hand, stands on the opposite side of 
the river, that adds much to the deptli, and, consequently, to the 
height of the mountains. 

When the inexpressible " first impression" has been overcome, 
and himian tongues regain the jKiwer of 8i>eech, such exclamations 
as the following may find utterance : " Did mortal eyes ever 
behold such a scejie in any other land ?" " The half had not been 
told us!" " My heart is full to overflowing with emotion at the 
sight of HO ranch appalling grandeur in the glorious works of 
God !" " I am satisfied I" " Tliia eight is worth ten years of 
Jabor," etc., etc. 

Tlie following anecdote will liel]i to illustrate the gratification 

witnessing this sight: 

young man, named Wadilove, when on his way to the valley. 


had fallen sick with fever at CoulterviUe, and who, consequently, 
had to remain behind his party, became a member of ours ; and, 
on the morning of the second day out, experiencing a relapse, he 
requested us to leave him behind ; but, as we expressed our deter- 
mination to do nothing of the kind, at great inconvenience to him- 
self, he continued to ride slowly along. Wlien at Hazel Green, 
he quietly murmured, ' I would not have started on this trip, and 
suffer as much as I have done this day, for ten thousand dollars.' 
But, when he arrived at this point, and looked upon the glorious 
wonders presented to his view, he exclaimed : ' I am a hundred 
times repaid now for all I have this day suffered, and I would 
gladly undergo a thousand times as much, could I endure it, and 
be able to look upon another such a scene.' " 

" Here let me renew my tribute," says Horace Greeley, "to the 
marvellous bounty and beauty of the forests of this whole mountain 
region. Tlie Sierra Nevadas lack the glorious glaciers, the frequent 
rains, the rich verdure, the abundant cataracts of the Alps ; but 
they far surpass them — they surpass any other mountains I ever 
saw — in the wealth and grace of their trees. Look down from almost 
any of their peaks, and your range of vision is filled, bounded, satis- 
fied, by what might l)e termed a tempest-tossed sea of evergreens, 
filling every upland valley, covering every hill-side, crowning 
every peak, but the highest, with their unfading luxuriance. Tliat 
I saw, during this day's travel, many hundreds of pines eight feet 
in diameter, with cedars at least six feet, I am confident ; and 
there were miles of such, and smaller trees of like genus, standing 
as thick as they could grow. Steep mountain-sides, allowing 
these giants to grow, rank above rank, without obstructing each 
other's sunshine, seem peculiarly favorable to the production of 
these seviceable giants. But the Summit Meadows are peculiar 
in their heavy fringe of balsam fir, of all sizes, from those barely 
one foot higli to those hardly less tlian two Jiundred, their branches 
surrounding them in collars, their extremities gracefully bent down 
by the weight of winter snows, making them here, I am confident, 
the most beautiful trees on earth. The dry promontories wliich 
separate these meadows, are also covered with a species of spruce. 


nifli is only Ifse graceful tlian the firs aforesaid. I never before 
enjoyed snth h tree-feast as on this wearing, difficult ride." 

■lu-d that point where the 
descent of the nioiin- 
tuin eonimenecfi, and 
where our guide rt-- 
i[uires us to dis- 
mount, wliile he ar- 
ranges the Maddle 
blankets and cru{i- 
pers, and tigh tens tlie 
saddle-girths. Some 
jiersons, perhaps, are 
for walking down 
this precipitous trail 
to the valley, hut the 
guide informs us that 
it is nearly seven 
miles to the fiHit of 
the mountain, when 
such a desire, for the 
time being, is over- 

Yet, in some of 
tliesteepest places uf 
the trait, one or two 
of the most timid of 
the party will be dip- 
posed to disnionnt, 
and walk, as at sonic 
points the descent is 
certainly very trying 
to the nerves. 

We will here re- 


mark that there are but three loualitira by which this valley 
can be safely entered — two at the lower or western end, on 
which the Coulterville and Marijiosa trails am laid ; and one at 
tlie npper or eastern end, by a tributary of tlia river whicli 
makes iti from the main ridge of the Sierras, and wluc-h is trav- 
elled mostly by ])oni(ins going anil returning to and from tin,* 
Walker'a River niinee. 

About two miles from the "Stand-Point of Silence," while 
descending the mountain, we arrive at a rapid and beautiful 
fiiscode, across wliieh is a rude bridge; here we can (lueiieh our 
thirst with its deliciouely cool water. It may be well hure to 


mention tliat tliere is aii amplu supply uf excellent water, at 
convenient dieitances, the entire length of tlie route, whetlier by 
Conlterville, Big;-Oak Flat, or Mariposa. 

Soon, anotlier easoade is reached and crossed, and its rusliiiig 
beedlee&uesfi of coursu among rocks, now leajiing over this, and 
past that ; Iicre giving a seetliing, there a roaring sound ; there 
bubbling, and gurgling, and smoking, and frothing, will keep 
Eome of us looking and lingering until another admonition of 
our guide breaks the charm, and hnrries us away. 

The pic!turesi|ue wUdness iif the scene on every liand ; the ex- 
citing wonders of bo romantic a jouniey ; the difficulties sur- 
mounted ; the dangers braved and overcome, puts ua in posaeseion 
of one unanimous feeling of unalloyed delight ; so that when we 
rea(.-h the foot of the mountain, and look upon the beautiful rapids 
of the river mlling and swelling at the side of the trail, while a 
forest uf oaks and pines stands sentinel on its banks, or ride,&ide 
by side, among the trees in the valley, we congratulate each 
other upon looking the very picture of haiipineas personiiied. 


Fatigued as we may be, every object aroimd ns has an interest 
as we pass this point, or walcli that shadow slowly climbing those 
towering granite walls, when the last rays of the setting sun are 
quietly draping the highest peaks of this wonderful valley with a 
purple veil of hazy ether; as Mr. Greeley expresses it, in his in- 
teresting descriptive visit^ — 
" That first full, deliberate gaze up the opposite height 1 can I 
I ever forget it J The valley is here scarcely half a mile wide, 
[ while its northern wall of mainly naked, periwndicular granite, 
I is at least finu- thousand feet high — probably more. But the 
[ modicum of moonlight that fell into this awful gorge [Mr. G_ 
[ arrived in the niglit] gave to that pre^-ipiee a vagueness of out- 
I line, an indefinite vastness, a ghostly anil weird Bjiirituality, Had 
r tlic mountain spoken to me in audible voice, or begun to lean 
■r with tlif puqiose of burying me beneatli its crushing mass, 
[ I should hardly have been surprised. Its whiteness, thrown into 


bold relief by tlie pMh;liefl of trees or slinibs which fringed or 
flecked it M'lierever a few liaudftils of its moss, slowly doL-uin()oised 
to earth, could contrive to hold on, continimllj suggested the 
presence of snow, which snggestion, with difficulty i-efuted, was 
at once renewed. And, looking up the valley, we saw just such 
mountain precipices, barely separated by intervening water- 
courses of inctinsiderable dciitli, and only receding sufficiently to 
make room for a very narrow meadow inclosing the river, to the 
furthest limit of vision," 


Our trail, for the most part, lies among giant jiines, from two 
llimdred to two liundred and fifty feet in heiglit, and beneath the 
rfresliing shade of outspreading oaks and other trees. Not a 
loiind breaks the expressive stillness that reigns, save the occa- 
Bional chirjiing and singing of birds as they fly to their nests, or 
the low, distant sigliing of the breeze in the tops of the forest. 
Crystal streams occasionally gurgle and ripple across our path, 
! sides are fringed with willows and wild flowers tliat are 
)ver blosBoining, and grass that is ever green. On either side of 
B stands almost jjerpendicuhir eliflfs, to the height of tliirty-five 
hundred feet ; ami "ii wlim-i' niiTL^i'^ tun-;, .>]■ in ihrir nneveu tops 



and sides, here and there a Btuiit^l iime etruggles to live, and 
every crag seems (crowned with eoiiie shrub or tree. The bright 
sLeeu of the river oceaaioiially glistens from among tJie dense 
foliage of several long vistas that eontiniially o])en before ua. 
At every step, some new jiictiire of great beanty presents itself, 
and some new sbajies and shadows from trees and nionntains 
form new combinations of light and shade, in this great kaleido- 
seope of nature. 

Shortly after i»asHing Tn-toch-ali-nu-lah, on onr left, we come in 
sight of three jwints winch the Indians know as "Elcacba," 
named after a jilaut much nsud for food, hut which some lacka- 
daisical i>er8on has given this eommon-platie name of "Tiie Tliree 
Brothers I" beyond which we get the first glimpse of tlio upi>er 
part of the Cho-looke (the Indian name), or Yo-Semite Watei^Fall. 

PerhajJB we ought previously to have mentioned, that the first 
water tall of au\ magnitude whiili strikes our attention on en- 
tering the \allLy — and, indeed, on several occasions before reach- 
ing tlio bottdin land ot tht, valley— is tlie "Polmno" (Indian 

a natcgra/A by C. L. Witd. 


laame), i>r " Bridal Veil" Fall, and wliich wu nhM itiuru fully 
(deecrilte wlieii we take a near view uf it. 

Siirrouii(ie<l hy audi sceiies of loveliiiefis and siililiinity, wu feel 
Ib reluctance to break tLe clianu tliey throw ujhiu us liy any 
peecli ; when some one is almost sure t^i cry out — " The Furrj-." 
Here tlie river is about sixty feet wide, and twelve feet deej» — 
KEcroee which we caii be speedily conveyed on a good boat, at the 
■Tatti of tliirty-eeveti and a half ceuta per head for men, women, 
land animals. 

Behiw we append a table of distances, and the probable time 
loonsunieii in niakinj; the trip from Coidtervilto: 

rn CoulKrville to Bower Cave 1 25 12 

Rat M tlte Cave. 3 00 

|Vkom ihe Cave to Black's Inn 2 00 5 

Heet at Bluek'd I) 40 

BVtam Black's to Deer Flat 1 45 i! 

Csmp fur tlie niglit at De^r Flat, from 9 P. )L, till T a. u. 1 1 BO 

Tram Deer KlM In HhtoI Green. J 00 . . 6 

Rest at HhotI Green 26 

From Ilazcl tiroen to Crane Flut 1 30 C, 

Best >iu! luncli at Crane Flat 2 00 

[Aoin Cnne Flat to "Stand-Point or Silence" 3 10 .. 9 

Stop Bt "Sund-Pmnt of Silence" 46 

I'Trom " Siiuid-PoiDt or Silence," lo Second Coacnde Bridge .. 3 

F Fruni Second Cascade to rml or trail into volley. . . 5 

Prom toot of trail to Upper Hoicl .. 

teiu " StMid-Poitit of Sllcnoe" to Upper RnteL G 15 

Totoltipue of travel 19 S 17 6 

Total time of reallnj; and csmpiag .17 6 

Total lima from Coulierville to hotel In vallej. . ..36 1 

Total diaunce. GT 

About a third of a mile above the fen-y, we arrive at Cunning- 
vliam's store and boarding-honse — where it8 obliging owner will do 
IlkU in hia power to make ns feel at homo ; who is as well, if not 
"■■bfrtter informed eoneerning the name and litatory of every point 
I'in thiB valley than any other man in the country, and to whom 


we are indebted for much valuable iiiforination. Here we get a 
full and excellent view of Sentinel Rock, on onr right, and the 
Clio-Iooke, or Yo-Semite Fall, on onr left — tlie highest in the 
valley ; but, as by this time it may be gutting late, if we i(-iah to 
go to the Upper op Yo-Semite Hotel, half a mile higher up, we 
must reeervc further description for another occasion. 


After the fatigue and excitement of the ride, and the novel cir- 
cumetaiices aud broken slumberH of the jiaet nights, it is natural 
to suppose that when we reach tiie valley, and quietly encamp, 
our rest will be both deep and refreshing ; but experience will 
prove that this supposition is altogetlier too favorable — for, owing 
to the miisquitos having recently given a series of very successful 
concerts in the valley, as reported by other travellers, we find that 
they are now in high spirits, and have a playful habit of alighting 
on and piercing our noses and foreheads, to keep us awake, tliat 
we may not lose a single note of their nocturnal serenade. 

Then, weary as we are, it seems such a luxury to he awake and 
listen to the splashing, washing, roaring, surging, hiseing, seething 
Bound of tile great Yo-Semite Falls, just opposite; or to pass 
quietly out of a sheltering-place, and look up between the lofty 
pines and spreading oaks, to the granite cliffs, ttiat tower up, with 
such majesty of form and boldness of outline, against the vast 
etherial vault of heaven ; or watch, in the moonlight, tlie ever- 
changing shaiies and sliadows of the water, as it leaps the cloud- 
draped summit of the mountain, and falls in gusty torrents on the 
unyielding granite, to be dashed to an infinity of atoms. Then to 
return to our fcm-leaf couch, and dream of some tutelary genius, 
of immense pn^porlions, extending over us his protecting anus — 
of his admonishing the water-fall to modulate the music of its 
voice into some gently soothing lullaby, that we may sleep and 
be refreshed. 

S<»me time before the sun can get a good, honeet look at us, 
deep down as we are in this awful chasm, we see him painting 
his rosy smiles upon the ridges, and etching lights and shadows 


in the furruw& of tlie unmntaiii'e bruw. as though he took & pride 
in showing up, to tlie beet advantage, tlie wrinkles time had made 
npon it ; but all of us feel too fatigiied fully to enjoy the thrillitig 
grandeur and beauty that surround us. 

Hiiro it will not be out of place to remark tliat ladies or gentle^ 
[ men — especially the former — who visit this valley to look upon 
I and appreciate ita wonders, and make it a trip of pleasurable en- 
[ joyment, should not attempt ita accomplishment in less than^ three 
I days from Mariposa, ConlterviJIe, or Big-Oak Flat, If (his is re- 
l merabered, the enjoyment of the visit will be more than doubled, 


I After a substantial breakfast, made palatable by that most ex- 
I cellent of sauces, a good appetite, our guidu aimount-es that 
I tlie horses are ready, and the saddle-bags well stored with such 
I good tilings as will commend themselves acceptably to our at- 
I tentioii, about noon ; and that the flret place to visit is tlie 
I Yo-Semite Fall. 

I Crossing a rude bridge over thu main stream, which is here 
I about sixty it-et in width, and nine in depth, we keep down the 
I northern bank of the river for a short distance, to avoid a large 
I portion of the valley in front of the hotel, tliat is |»r<thably ovcr- 
I flowed with water. On either side of our trail, in several places, 
I Buch is the luxuriant growth of the ferns, that they are above our 
I filionlders as we ride through them. 

I Presently we reach one of tlie most beautifully picturesque scenes 
I that eye ever saw. It is the ford. Tlic oak, dogwood, maple, 
V Cottonwood, and other trees, form an arcade of great beauty over 
I the sparkling, rippling, pebbly stream, and, in the back-ground, 
I the lower fall of the Yo-Semitc is dropping ita sheet of snowy 
I sheen behind a dark middle distance of pines and hemlocks. 
I As the snow rapidly melts beneath the fiery strength of a hot 
I summer sun, a large body of water, most probably, is msliing 
I past, forming several small streams — -wliii-h, being comparatively 
I shallow, are easily forded. Wlicn within about a hundred and 
L fifty yards of the fall, as numerous large boulders begin to inter- 


cept our progress, we may as well (liemimiit, and, after fastening 
oiir aiiimala to some young trees, niako onr way up to it on foot. 

Now a change of teuiiwratnre soon becomes perceptible, as we 
advance; and tlie almost oppressive heat of the centre of the 
valley is gradnally changing to that of chilliness. But up, up, we 
climb, over this rock, and past that tree, until we reach the foot, 
or as near an we can advance to it, of the great To-Seniite Fall, 
when a cold draught of air ruslies Aovm upon us from above, 
iihinit equal in etrcngtli to an eight knot breeze; bringing with it 
a heavy shower of finely comminuted spray, that falls with suf- 
lieient force to saturate our clothing in a few moments, From 



tliia a beautiful plieiiomenou is observable — inasmuch as, after 
striking our hats, tlie diamond-like nuBt slioots off at an angle of 
about thirty-five or forty degrees, and as the sun shines upon it. a 
number of miniature rainbows are formo4 all round us. 

Tliose who have never visited this spot, must not suppose that 
the cloud-like spray that descends upon us is the main fall itself, 
broken into infinitesimal particles, and becoming nothing but a 
sheet of cloud. By no means ; for, although this stream shoots 
over the margin of tlio mountain, nearly seven hundred feet 
above, it falls almost in a solid body — not in a continuous stream 
exactly, but having a close resenihlancc to an avalanche of snowy 
rockets that appear to be perjiehially trying to overtake each 
other in their descent, and mingle the one into the other; the whole 
composing a torrent of indescribable power and beauty. 

Huge boulders, and large masses of sharp, angular rocks, are 
scattei-ed here and there, forming the uneven sides of an immense, 
and apparently ever-boiling cauldron ; around, and in the inter- 
sticca of which, numerous dwarf ferns, weeds, grasses, and flowers, 
are ever growing, where not actually washed by tlie falling 

It is beyond the power of language to describe the awe-inspir- 
ing majesty of tlie darkly-frowning and overhanging mountain 
walk of solid granite that here hem us in on everj' side, as though 
they would threaten us with instantaneous destruction, if not total 
annihilation, did we attem|)t for a moment to deny their power. 
If man ever feels his utter insiguificaiice at any time, it is when 
looking upon such a scene of appalling grandeur as the one here 

Tlie point from whence the photograph was taken from whleli 
our engraving is made— being almost underneath the fall — might 
lead to the suiiposition that the lower section, which embraces 
more than two-thu^s of the picture, was the highest of the two 
seen ; when, in fact, the lower one. according to the measure- 
ments of Mr. Denman, superintendent of Public Schools in San 
Francisco; of Mr. Peterson, the engineer of the Mariposa and 
To-Semite "Water Company; and of Mr. Limg, county surveyor. 



19 about seven liimdred feet above tlie level of the valley, while 
the upjier fall is uboiit one tliousand four liuudred and forty-eight 
feet, and between the two, meaaiiring abont four hundred feet, ifl 
a series of rapids rather tlian a fall, giving tlie total height of the 
entire fall at two thousand five hundred and forty-eight feet. 

After lingering here for several hours, with inoxpreesible feel- 
ings of supjtreBSed astonishment and delight, iiualiHiHl and iu- 
teiisilied by veneration, we may take a long and reluctant last 
upward gaze, convinced that ww shall "never look upon its like 
again," until we pay it another visit at some future time; and, 
making the best of our way to where our Jiorses arc tied, proceed 
to endorse tlie truthfnlnesa of tlie prognostications of our guide in 
the morning before starting, concerning appetites and lunch. 
Hiis being despatched, it will be well for us to continue our ride, 
and pay a 


Leaving tliG Yi>Seniite Falls, We recross the ford, and thread 
our way through the far-stretchiug vistas of luxuriant green that 
open beft>re us; the bright sunlight and sombre shadows ever 
winking and twinkling upon the sparkling and gurgling stream 
and dimly-defined trail ; imtil we emerge on a grassy and fltjwer- 
covered plateau on the north side of tiio valley, near tlio base of 
tlie great North Dome, called by tlie Indians "To-eoy-BB." This 
mountain of naked granite, with scarcely a tree or slirub growing 
from a single cn'vice, towura above yon to tlie height of three 
thousand seven hundred and twenty-five feet. Ita sides are nearly 
perpendicular for more than two thousand feet, and in which a 
colossal arch is formed, doubtlcus from tlie falling of several 
eeetions of the rock. Tliis has been designated the " Royal Arch 
of To-coy-ffi." Tliis, we believe, has never been measured; but 
we should judge its altitude, from the valley to the crown of 
the arch, to be about one thousand seven hundred feet, and its 
span about two thousand feet ; its deptli in, from the face of tlie 
rock, is about eighty or ninety feet. Tltere is one additional 
feature here that should not be overlooked, and that is tlie small 
Btreams of water that leap down over it, like falling strings of 



pearls and diamonds. These aild iiiiu;h, m early spring, to tlie 
att rati tiven ess of tht scene. 

Having crossed the plateau, we ride over some rocky hillwks, 
and among a park-like array of oak trees, uutil we arrive at Lake 
Ah-wi-yah, so named and known hy the Indians, bnt which Las 

been newly christened by Ameriuan viaitflrs "Lake Hiawatha," 
" Mirror Lake," and several others, whioli, tliongh pretty enough, 
are equally common-place and nnsuitable. But of this we shall 
have eonietliing to say in another chapter. 

This lake, although a chamiing little sheet of crystal water of 
almost a couple of acres in extent, in which numerous schools of 
speckled trout may be seeu gaily disporting themselves, would 
be unworthy of a notice, bnt for the jiietiiresque grandeur of its 
surroundings. On the north and west lie immense rocks that 
have become detached from the tops of the mountain above ; 

THE Y<>-6EMrrE VALLEY. 103 

among these grow a large variety of trees and sliruLa, many of 
whicli etaiid on and overliang the margin of tlie luki!, aud are 
reflwted on its mirror-like boeoni. To the north-east ojwnB a vast 
gorge or canon, down which impetuously rush the waters of tho 
north fork of the Merced, which dehouuhes into and supplies the 

On the south-east stands the majestic Mount Tia-sa-ack, or 
'* Soutli Dome," four thousand five hundred and nuiety-tliree feet 
iu altitude above the valley. Almost one-half of this immense 
mass, either from some convulsion of nature, or 

"Tlmo'i offadng fingers," 

lias fallen over, by which, most probably, the dam for this lake 
was first formed. Yet proudly, aye, defiantly erect, it still holds 
its noble bead, and is not only the highest of all those around, 
but is the gi'catest attraction of the valley. Moreover, in this 
are centred many agreeable associatiuns to the Indian mind ; as 
here was once the traditionary home of the gnanlian spirit of 
ihe valley, the angel-like and beautiful Tis-sa-ack, after whom 
her devoted Indian worshippers named this gloriously majestic 
mountain. "While we sit in the ahado of these tine old trees, and 
look upon all the objects around us, mirrcjred on the unruffled 
bosom of the lake, let us relate tlie following interesting legend 
of Tu-toch-ah-nu-lah, afler whom the vast perpendicular and 
massive projecting rock at the lower end of the valley was 
named, and with which is interwoven this historj- of Tis-sa-ack. 

This legend was told in an eastern Journal, by a gentleman 
residing here, who signs himself " Iota," and who received it from 
the lips of an old Indian ; tlie relation of which, although several 
points of interest are omitted, will, nevertheless, prove very 


" It was in the unremembored past that the children of the sun 
first dwelt in Yo-Semite. Then all was happiness ; for Tu-toch-ah- 
nu-lafa sat on high in his rocky home, and cared for the people 



whom he loved. Leaping over the upper phkine, he herded tlie 
wild deer, that the i»e<iple might choose the fattest for tlie feast. 
He roused the bear from liis cavern in the mountain, that the 
brave might hmit. From his lofty roek he prayed to the Great 
Spirit, and brought the soft rain upon tlie cum in the valley. 
The smoke of his jiijje curled into the air, and the golden sim 
lireatlied warmly through its blue haze, and ripened the t-rops, 
that the women might gather them in. When he laughed, the 
fat-e of the winding river was rippled witli smileti ; when he 
sighed, the wind swept sadly through the singing pines ; if he 
spoke, the sound was like the deep voice of the i-ataract ; and 
when he smote the far-striding bear, his whoop of triumph rang 
from trag to gorge — echoed friim mountain to mountain. His 
form was straight like the arrow, and elastic like the bow. His 
foot was swifter than the red Jeer, and his eye was strong and 
bright hke the rising snn. 

" But one morning, as he roamed, a bright vision came before 
him, and then the soft colors of the Wi^t were in his lustnius 
eye. A maiden sat ujion the southern granite dome that raises its 
gray head among the highest peaks. She was not like the dark 
maidciia of the tribe below, for the yeliow hair rolled over her 
dazzling form, as golden waters over silver rocks; her brow 
beamed witli the pale beauty of the moonliglit, and her blue eyes 
were as tlie far-off hills before the sun goes down. Her little 
foot shone like the snow-tufts on tlie wintry pines, and its arch 
was like the spring of a bow. Two cloud-like wings wavered 
upon her dimpled shoulders, and her voice was as the sweet, sad 
tone of the night-bird of the woods. 

" 'Tu-toch-ah-nu-lah,' she softly whispered ; tlien gliding up the 
rooky dome, she vanislied over its rounded top. Keen was the 
eye, quick was the car, swift was the foot of the noble youth as 
he aped up the rugged path in pursuit ; but the soft down from 
her snowy wings was wafted into his eyes, and he saw her no 

" Every morning now did the enamored Tu-toch-ali-nu-lah leap 
the stony barriers, and wander over the mountains, to meet the 


lovely Ti&-Ea-a4ik. Each day lie laid sweet aconia and wild flowers 
upon Iier dome. Ills ear caught her footstep, though it was light 
afi the falling leaf; his eye gazed upon lior beanlifiil form, and 
into her gentle eyes ; but never did he speak before her. and 
never again did her sweet-toned voice fall upon hie uar. Thus 
did he love the fair maid, and so strong was his thought of Iter 
that lie forgot the crops of Yo-Semite, and they, without rain, 
wanting his tender care, quickly drooped their heads, and ghrnnk. 
Tlie wind whistled mournfully through the wild com, the wild 
bee stored no nn»re honey in the hollow tree, for tlio fliiwers had 
lost tlieir freshness, and the green leaves became brown. Tu-toeh- 
ah-nu-lab saw none of this, for his eyes were dazzled by the shin- 
ing wings of the maiden. But Tis-sa-ack looked with sorrowing 
eyes over the neglected valley, when early in the morning she 
stood upon the gray dome of tlie mountain; so, kneeling on tlie 
smooth, hard rock, the maiden besought the Great Spirit to bring 
again the bright flowers and delicate grasses, green trees, and 
nodding acorns. 

"Tlien, with an awful sound, the dome of granite openeil 
beneatli her feet, and the mountain was riven asunder, wliile the 
melting snows from the Nevada gushed through the wonderful 
gorge. Quickly they formed a lake between the perpendicular 
walla of the cleft mountain, and sent a sweet murmuring river 
through the valley. All then was changed, Tlie birds dashed 
their little bodies into the pretty potjls among the grasses, and 
flattering out again, sang for delight ; the moisture crept silently 
through the parched soil ; the flowers sent up a fragrant incense 
of thanks; the com gracefully raised its drooping head; and the 
aap, with velvet footfall, ran up into the trees, giving life and 
energy to all. But the maid, for whom the valley had suflfered, 
and through whom it had been again clothed with beauty, had 
disappeared as strangely as she came. Vet, that all might hold 
her memory in their hearts, she left the qniet lake, the winding 
river, and yonder hulf-tUtme^ which still bears her name, ^Tia-m- 
ack.' It is said to be four thousand Ave hnndretl feet high, and 
every evening it catches the last rosy rays that are reflected from 


the eiiowy peaks above. Aa slie flew away, Bniall dow^ly featliere 
were wafted from her wings, aud wLere tliey fell — on tlie iitargin 
iif tlie lake — you will now see thouBands of little white violets. 

" When Tu-toch-ah-nn-lali knew that she was gone, he left his 
rot'ky (^'aetle and wandered away in search of his loet hive. But 
that the Yo-Semites might never forget him, witli tlie hunting- 
knife in hie bold hand, he carved the outlines of his noble head 
upon tlie fa<:e of the rock tliat beard his name. And there they 
still remain, three thousand feet in the air, guarding the entrance 
to the beautiful valley which had received his loving care." 

liy this time the rapidly decluiiiig sun, and an admonishing 
^oice from our organs of digestion, are both persuasive iiitluencea 
to reconuuend au early dcparhiro for the hotel and diuuer, and 
which, we need not add, will be promptly re8ponde<l to. 

As we sit in the gtillness and twilight of evening, thinking itver 
and conversing about the wondrous scenes our eyes have looked 
ujKiii tliis day ; or listen, in silence, tx> the deep music of the dis- 
tant waterfalls, our hearts seem full to overflowing with a sense 
of the grandeur, wildness, beauty, and profoimdness to be felt and 
enjoyed when communing with the glorious works of nature, 
wliicli call to mind tliosw I'XpreHsive linos of Moore : 

''Theeanli hIihII Ijo my fragniut ahrilie; 
Uf templo, LordI Mint arcli oT thine; 
Mj censer's breach, Lhe muuntain airs; 
And flileiit Lhnu^hl^ my only praycra." 


Visitors generally jirefcr paying a visit to the Pohono Fall, 
before undertaking those of greater difficulty at the ujiper end of 
the valley, that they may become somewhat better rested from 
the fatigue of the journey. Lut us, therefore, not be out of the 
I'ashion, but take a quiet ride down the south side of the valley 
at once ; and the first jioiut of striking interest wo shall notice on 
our left will be Sentinel Rock, a lofty and solitary peak, upon 
which the watch-fires of the Indians have often been lighted to 


t. BOCK, 3.210 

gi re warning <it' aitpniiw^liing danger; ami wliirh can readily he 
Bcon from all the principal points witliiii and aruund tlie valley. 

Further on, we me a ningidar group of peaku, that will rtnuenihte 
almost any thing we can conjure iiji, according to the time of day 
we may he paBeiny, as every change in the [xisitiun of the aim will 
give a new set of shadows ; but that which it most resembles, is 
the dilapidated fntnt of ainie grand old cathedral, with towers 
and bnttresses ; and, in one place, a circle that a strong imagina- 
tion can make into a clock, which will indicate the time of day to 
a moment I 

Tliis passed, we come in front of the Pohono Fall. After 
tlireading our way among trees and bushes, over rocks and water- 
eourees, it becomes necessary tliat we should dismount, and tie 

108 8CF.NE8 IN CALItXtRNlA. 

our animals, as the remamiiig distance is over a rough aeoent of 
rockE, wliioli will Lave to be accomplislied on foot. As tliis is 
short, wc shall thread our way among bushes and boidders, with- 
out much difficulty, until the heavy s^iray from the i'al! saturates 
our clothing, and tlie velvety saftness of the moist grasses growing 
iijiim the littli! ridge wc have climbed, reminds us that the goal of 
our desire is reached. 

It is impossible to portray the feeling of awe, wonder, and ad- 
miration — almost amounting to adoration — that thrills our very 
souls as we look upon this eu(;hantiiig Bt-oue. The gnicefully un- 
dulating and wavy sheets of spray, that fall in gauze-like and 
ethereal folds ; now expanding, now contracting ; now glittering 
in the sunlight, like a veil of diamonds ; now changing into one 
■ \ ast and many-col orotl cloud, that throws its misty drapery over 
the falling torrent, as if in very modesty, to veil its unspeakable 
beauty from our too eagerly admiring sight. 

In order to see this to the best advantage, the eye should take 
in only the foot of the fall at first; then a short section upward; 
then higher, until, by degrees, the top is reachetl. In this way the 
majesty of tlie waterfall is more ftdly realized and appreciated. 

Tlie stream itself— about forty feet in width — resembles an 
avalanche of watery rockets, that shoots out over the precipice 
above you, at the height of nearly nine hundred feet, and then leaps 
down, in one unbroken train, to the immense cauldron of boulders 
beneath, where it surges and boils in its angry fury, throwing up 
large volumes of spray, over which the sun forms two or more 
magnificent rainbows which arch the abyss. 

Like most otlier tributaries of the main middle fork of the Mer- 
ced, this stream falls very low toward tlie close of the summer, 
but is seldom, if ever, entirely dry. When we visited the valley 
iu July, 1855, this branch did not contain more than one-tenth 
the water usually seen in the month of May or June. 

Tlie river has its origin in a lake at the foot of a bold, crescent- 
sha[>ed, per|iendiciilar rock, about thirteen miles above the edge 
of the Pojiono Fall. On this lake a strong wind is said to be con- 
tinuallv bhiwiug; and, as several Indians have lost theu- lives 


there and in tiie stream, tlieir ext-eedinglj aoute and superBtitioue 
ima^nations liave made it bewitiihed. 

All Indian woman was out gathering seeds, a short distance 
above tliese falls, when, by some ntisha]), she lost her balance and 
fell into the stream, and tlie force of the current carried her 
down with snch relocity, that before any assistance could he 
rendered, she was swe]it over the precipice, and wan never seen 

" Pohono," from whom the stream and tlie waterfall received 
their musical Indian name, is an evi! spirit, wliose breatli is a 
blighting and fatal ^^nnd, and, cuneequcntly, is to be dreaded and 
shunned. On this account, whenever, from necessity, the Indians 
have to pass it, a feeling of distress steals over them, and tliey fear 
it as nmch as the wandering Arab does the Bimooms of the African 
desert ; tliey hurry past it at the heiglit of tlieir speed. To point 
at the waterfall, when travelling in the valley, to their minds, is 
certain deatli. No inducement could be offered sufficiently large 
to tempt tliem to sleep near it. In fact, they believe that they 
hear tlie voices of tlioae tliat have been drowned there, perpet- 
ually warning them to shun " Poliono." 

How much more desirable is it tfl peqietuate these expressive 
Indian names — many of which embody the sujierstitious and 
highly imaginative characteristics of tlie Indian mind — tlian to 
give them Anglicized ones, be tliey ever so pretty. We think the 
name of "Bridal Veil Fall" is not only by far the most musical 
and suitable of any or of all others yet given, but is the only one 
that is worthy of the object named ; and yet, we eoiifcss that we 
should much prefer the beautiful and expressive Indian name of 
" Pohono," to that of " Bridal Veil." 

Tlie vertical, and, at some points, overhanging mountains on 
eitlier side of the Pohono, possesn tjuite as much interest as the fall 
itself, an<l add much to the grandeur and magnificeiice of the 
whole B(!cnc. A tower-shape^l rock, about three thousand feet in 
height, standing at the south-west side of the fall, and nearly op- 
posite "Tu-toch-ah-nu-lah," has on ita top a number of projecting 
rocks that very much reeemble canon. In order to assist in per- 

T or TB« "POUONO," OR BUm.ll. VEIL PALL, 910 T 
Jfrtim a Plu/iagrapK by C. L. Wtad. 

petiiating the beautiful legend before given concerning that Indian 
Bemi-deity, we shall take the liberty of christening thie point Tu- 
toch-ah-nu-lah's Citadel, 

Other wild and weird-like points of equal interest stand before 
UB,on the Buinmit and among the niches of every cliff ; bo that it 
IB not this or that particular rock that attracts, so much as the 
infinite variety, all of which are so distinctly different. 

At the foot of the rocky point where we have left our horses, we 
may as well sit down to discusa the merits of an excellent lunch ; 


and, as evening ie slowly lengtliening the shadows of the trees 
and mountains, we cannot dw better than retrace our way to the 


It 18 always well to start as early as we conveniently can, with- 
otit Imrrj'ing onrselves too much, as by this course we obtain 
many advantages that iiL-ed not now be enumerated ; therefore, as 


BOOH as the aun has begun to wink at ub from among t]ie pine- 
trees on tlie niountain-topB, we may as well start on our visit to 

the Pi 


,<!k Fall. 

At first, we pass round the granito points that extend into the 
level meadow land, just atove the hotel ; then, as we atlviince, 
tlie valk'y gradnally widens, and, with the oak tre«a growing at 
irregular intervals of distance, reminds us of the beautiful parks 
of Europe, espectially those of England and Frau<'e. 

On our right is a high wall of granite, nearly perpendicular, 
to the height of three thousand four hundred and forty fcot — 
down wliieh several small, silvery, ribbon-like sti-eams are leaping. 
Hero and there, fn)m the sides of this vast mountain, a single tree 
or shrub is standing alone. Snrniouiiting one of tlie lower points 
of rock, several rugged peaks unite, and reaeinble an immense 
hospice, which lias, not inappropriately, been named Mount St. 
Bernard. Another has a distant kinsliip, in form at least, with 
a bear. Anotlier, a huge head. In fact, yon can look at the 
varions parts of the mountain, and trace a resemblance to a hun- 
dred diiferent objects ; and as the shadows change, when the day 
advances, to as many more. 

About two and a half iiiileB from the Iiotel we arrive at the 
usual place of leaving animals, when visitors are on their way to 
the Pi-wy-ack (Vernal), To-wi-ye (Nevada), and other falls on the 
main branch of tlie river ; the trail, in its present condition, being 
too rocky and nnigh to admit of its being travelled by horses or 
nmles above this jioint — therefore we have to proceed on foot, by 
a broken and rough trail. On our left, at intervals, the nneven 
pathway lies beside the river — the thundering boom of whose 
waters rises, at times, abovt? the sound of our voices ; for, as soon 
as we have fairly left the level valley, and oHnnienced our ascent, 
that largo stream t'nnns one magnificent cataract np to the very 
foot of the fall. 

Soon wo arrive at the mouth of the Sonth Fork, which we cross 
on a rude aud log-fonned bridgo. 

Upward and onward we toil ; and, after passing a bold point, 
we obtain, suddenly, the first sight of the Pi-wy-ack, or Vernal 



Fall. Wliile gazing 
its beauties, let us, now 
and forever, earnestly 
protest against the per- 
petuation of any other no- 
menrlature to tliis won- 
der, than "Pi-wy-ack," 
the name which is given 
to it by the Indiana, 
which means " a showt-r 
of sparkling crystals,' 
while " Venial" could, 
with much more appro- 
priateness, be bestowed 
upon the name-giver, as 
the fall itself is one vast 
sheet of sparkling brightness and snowy whiteness, in which 
there is not the alighteet approximation, even in tlie tint, to any 
thing "vernal." 

Still ascending and advancing, we are soon enveloped in a 
sheet of heavy spray, driven down upon us with such force as to 
resemble a heavy stonn of comminuted rain. Now, many might 
suppose that this would be annoying, but it is not, although the 
only really unpleasant part of the trip is that which we have here 
to take, on a atcep hill-side, and through a wet, alluvial soil, fnim 
which, at every footstep, the water spirts out, much to the incon- 
venience and discomfort of ladies — especially of those who wear 



long dresses. As tlie distance tliroiigli this is but eliort, it is soon 
aecoinplished, and in a few minutes we stand at tlie foot of "The 
_- _^^ __ J _ LftddfiTB." Beneath a 

large, overhanging 
rock at our riglit, is 
a Dian wlio takes toll 
for ascending the lad- 
ders, eats, and " turns 
in" to sleep, upon the 
' rock. Tlie charge for 
ascending and d escend- 
iiig is seventy-five 
cL-ntfl ; and, as this in- 
i-liides the trait as well 
!is the ladders, the 
'■ I'harge is very reason- 

Fiinnerly there were 
ni> means of ascending 
or desi-entling tliis per- 
I icndkular wait of rot-k, 
ifcpt with ropes faa- 
' tened tu an oak-tree 
that grows in one of 
the interstices ; and 
that, too, at great per- 
sonal risk and incon- 
veuieiioo — so that hnt 
lew pei'soiifl woidd make the ilauguroiis attempt. 

Tliis fall we estimated — it has not been measiii'ed, we believe — 
at about three hnndred feet in height ; others have placed it as 
high as fonr hundred and fifty, but wo think that such an esti- 
mate is altogether t(»o high. It is certainly an awe-inspiring and 
wonderful object to look upon, and well worthy of a visit at ten 
times the present trouble and inconvenience. 



Ascending the ladders, wo reach an elevated plateau of rock, on 
the edge uf which, and about breast high, h a iiutural wall of 
granite, that Bcemfl to have been conBtrueted by nature for the 
especial benefit and convenience of people with weak nerves, en- 
abling them to lean npon it, and look down over the precipice 
into the deep chasm below, 

■Tlie waters of the river, which rush through a narrow gorge 
above, with great speed and power, here spread out to the width 
of about sixty-five feet, before glutting over tlie edge of the fall. 

tuviB acBarao thbouob thi doww ants tu r-wt- 

Advaneing gently and pleasantly, wc arrive at tlie gorge, before 
alluded to, and as several large pieces of burnt timber are pmba- 
bly lying near, if we mil them in ujKm the angry Ijosora >if thu 



hurrying current, we sliall find that they are toeeed about, and 
borne along as though they were waifs. After working our way 

1 low t 


r point of rocks, we come in Bight of the Yo-wi-ye i 
the greatest, yet not tlie highest fall, in or near the To-Semite 


i estimated at Letweeii seven ami eight liiin- 

Valley ; and wliich . 
dred feet in height. 

Wheii the base of this fall is reached, or as nearly so a^ the 
eddying clouds of spray will peniiit, it appears to be different in 
shape to either of the others ; fur, oltliuiigh it eliuots over the 
precipice in a curve, and descends almost perpeudicniarly for 
four-fifths of the distance, it then strikes the smoiith surface of 
the mountain, and spreads, and forms a beautiful sheet of silvery 
vhiteness, about one hundred and thirty feet in width. 

This i>otnt is about as far as visitors generally go. altbongh 
some more entlnisiaatic spirits work their way, by the side of the 
smouth nioimtuin wall— that here prevents further progress, with- 
out considerable toil and difficulty — to the top of the fall ; and as 
we expect the courteous reader is of the latter class, we will, with 
his consent, make one of the party to see what we can find. 

On reaching tlie lop, near the edge of the fall, we find the rock 
Tery smooth and bare for many rods, with here and there a 
Blunted tree, living on a short allowance of soil in a narrow crev- 
ice. At the hack of this bare rock is a limited forest of pines 
and firs. Huge boulders and masses of granite lie scattered here 
and there. Tlie river, for some distance above, forms a series of 
rapids. As a tree has lodged across the stream about a ipiarter 
of a mile from the fall, and the smooth nxk to the eastward forms 
another barrier to our progress in tliat direction, let us cross to 
the opposite side of the river, and work our way up to tliat which 
is now called " the Little Yo-Scmite Valley." 

Our course now lies up and across the numerous spurs that hem 
in, or rather that almost monopolize and form the so-called valley, 
with the exception, perhaps, of from a third to a half mile on the 
sides of tlie stream. Numenms clumps of fir trees and jiines 
stand here and there ; some ou the banks of the river, and some 
in moist places, that, during a short season of the year, are shal- 
low lakes. Numerous grouse and mountain quail whirr past us — 
nuly, as we think, perhaps, to torment us, as on this occasion 



most likely we have no gun, knowing that at other times when 
we had, we found no use for one. By the side of every little hil- 
lock, especially at the bottom of the spurs, there are deer trails. 
deeply worn, and full of recent imprints of their feet; also those 
of the cinnamon and grizzly bear. On the limited portions of 
alluvial soil, a thick growth of short, fine grass is growing, re- 
sembling the buffalo grass of the plains. On the low ridges, or 
spurs, in the valley, there is also an abundance of tuft or bunch 

The monntaiue on either side of this valley are, if possible, more 
singular than those of the great Yo-Semite Valley, on account of 
the formation being distinctly different. For instance, a large and 
mieven, yet sugar-loaf shaped rock, at its eastern extremity, near 
another waterfall, has a wide belt of sandstone near its base, and 
which extends from the one side to the other ; similar layers of 
rock continue, althnngh of different kinds and colors, to the very 
Bunuiiit of the rock, while that in the valley below is of granite, al- 
most exclusively. 

Tile waterfall at the head of this valley, and two and a half 
miles from the Yo-wi-ye, might more properly be denominated a 
faeeade. as the main body of water forming the river ruelies down 
an inclined plane of about one hundred and fifty feet in length, 
at an angle of about thirty-seven degrees. The mountains on 
either side being lofty, rugged, pine-studded, and precipitous, add 
much to the grandeur as well as beauty of the scene. 

Still higher up this beautiful stream there are yet two other water- 
falls, and numerous small rock-bound valleys, that at some future 
day we may visit ; but as evening has begira already to drop her 
shadowy curtain, let us hasten to retrace our steps, or we may be 


It will be remembered tliat, in walking up the uneven trail to 
the Pi-wy-ack and Yo-wi-ye Falls, a stream of considerable vol- 
mne. divided into numerous branches, is crossed : this is the South 
Fork. Several miles above the crossing alluded to, there is 


another large fall, which, although but seldom seen, it will be 
well for U8 to visit. 

About two and a half miles above the Upper Hotel, we arrive at 
the UBual place of leaving animaU, at which point we leave the 
trail and soon And that, pour as it undoubtedly is, we are prepared 
to accord to it any amount of excellence, in comparison with the 
steep, boulder-fiUcd, and traillesa caflou of the South Fork. 

Here we liave to stoop or creep beneath low arches ; there we 
assist each otherto climbarock; yoiidera spur shoots outfrom the 
mountain to tlie very margin of the stream and furcea us to cross it. 
At such places, fortunately, the few who have preceded us have 
bridged the river, by foiling trees over it, thus enabling us to fol. 

a FKaloffrapA by C. L. H 



low in their footsteps witli great advantage to ourselves. Minia- 
ture uiouiitaiiis of loose rocks aeem to be piled oa eavh other, still 
higher and higher as we advance. 

Aliniit a mile and a half ahove the confluenee of the Soiitli with 
the Middle Fork, wo emerge from a heavy growth of timher into 
mi o]«n and tiveless fhasin, tlio bed of whit-h is covered with 
large angular rocks, hounded on eitlier side with vertical walls of 
time-worn and rain-stained granite. On the uneven to|is of theee, 
a few of the Douglass sjiruce-trees are struggling to weather the 
fitorms and live. From tliis jwint, we obtain a fine distant view, 
above the tops of the lofty pines, of the Great Dome, and also tiie 
Pi-wy-ack Fait. 


About two o'clock p. m. (if we Btart early) we reach the head 
of the caflon and the foot of the Too-hi-lu-wac-k Fall. TLia caflon 
here is suddenly terminated by an irregular, horse-shoe shaj^ed 
end, the sides and circle of which, on the one side, are perpendic- 
ular, and un the other so much no as to be inaccessible, without 
great danger of slipping, and, consequently, of being dashed to 

This waterfall is abont seven hundred and fifty feet in lieight, 
which, after shooting over the precipice, raceta with no obstacle 
to break its descent, until it nearly reaches the basin into which 
it falls. It is a fine sheet of water, of about the same volume as 
tlje Yo-Semile (named by the Indians, Cho-loek), at the time we 
visited and measured it. Aa wo bad no instrmnenta for ascertain- 
ing the altitude of tlie Tocvhi-Iu-wack Fall, of course the above is 
only given as its approximate height, 

Tlie engraving given ot this, presents a side section only, as the 
distance across the caHon, opposite the fall, not being over one 
hundred and fifty yards, is altogether too short to allow the instru- 
ment to take in the whole front view on one picture. 

Our fatiguing ascent ha ^Hng occupied the greater portion of the 
day, and the sunshine having already departcil from the west side 
of the caflon, and as we are not prepared to pass the night here, 
our work and return lias to be conducted with brevity and des- 
pat(rh ; consequently, the moment we have satisfied our minds, we 
had better commence the desoeiit. On onr way down, we secure 
another good view of Tis-sa-ack (the South Dome), from the sonth 
cafion, which, from this point, presents a singular conical shape 
of that mountain, which is not to be seen from any other point, 
and arrive at our quarters at the hotel in safety, just after dark, 
well pleased with the result of our difficult undertaking. 

Wliile discussing the viands of our niuch-reliBhed evening's re- 
past, we venture to prodi(;t, that before five years have elapsed, 
wo shall be able to ride to the very foot of each of these magnifi- 
cent waterfalls. And we would respectfully suggest to residents 
in the valley, or others, that a good mule trail constnieted, not 
only to the Too-hi-lu-wack, but to tlie foot of tlie Yo-wi-ye Fall, 


and up Iiidian CaQon to tbe top of the great Yo-Semite, will not 
only prove a good investraent at a fair toll, but bo a strong addi- 
tional inducement to parties of pleasure in visiting the valley. 
And we know, too, that every visitor will respond affirmatively 

to this sentiment. 


Tlioee who walk past, and look up at the great Yo-Seraite Fall, 
feel an undelinablu longing to stand upon and Iw^k down from the 
top of the mountain walls that enconipaes this valley ; to examine 


the surrounding country above, and nieaenre the width and depth of 
the YoSem ite Creek below. Acco rditigly, let us rapair to the foot of 
aji almost inaccessible niountain gorge, named Indian Cafion, situ- 
ated about a quarter of a mile to the east of the Yo-Semite Falle, 
and nearly opposite to the hotel, for the purpose of making tlie 
ascent. Tliis, also, is a fatiguing and difficult task, that few have 
ever undertaken. 

In order the better to insure our success, we must start early in 
the morning. Tlie day may prove to be very warm ; yet, after 
fairly entering the caflun, the trees and shrubs that grow between 
the rocks, afford us a very grateful shelter, for a quarter of the 
distance up, when the almost vertical mountain side on our right 
throws its refreshing shadow across the ascent, for the greater por- 
tion of the remaining distance. 

Thus protected, we elirab over, creep beneath, or walk around, 
the huge boulders that form the bed of the gorge ; and which, 
owing to their immense size, frequently compel 118 to make a de- 
tour in the sun to avoid them, and to seek as easy an ascent as poB- 
mble in the accomplishment of this, our excessively fatiguing task. 

A cascade of considerable volume is leaping over this, dashing 
past that, rusliing between those, and gurgling among these rocks, 
affording us gratuitous musicand drink,a6we climb. Large pine 
trees tliat fell across the cafion, during the rapid melting of the 
mow, have been lifted up and tossed, like a skiff by an angry sea, 
to the top of some huge rocks, and there left. 

OnM'ard and upward we toil, the perspiration rolling frora our 
brows ; but we are cheered and rewarded by the incrc^ising novelty 
and beauty of the scenes that are momentarily opening to our view 
as we ascend. 

About noon we can reach the summit of the mountain. It is im- 
possible to describe tlie magnificent panorama tliat is here spread 
out before us. Deep, deep below, in peaceful repose, sleeps the 
valley ; its carpet of green cut up by sheets of standing water, and 
small brooks that run down from every ravine and gorge, whQe 
the serpentine course of the river resembles a huge silver ribbon, 
as its sheen hashes in the sun. On its bajiks, and at the foot of 


the mountains around, groves of pine trees, two liundred feet in 
Ucight, look like more weeds. 

All the hollows of the main chain of the Sierras, stretching to 
the eastward and southward, apparently but a few miles distant, 
are filled with suow, above and out of whieh sharp and bare saw- 
like peaks of rock rise, well defined, against the clear blue sky. 
The south dome from this elevation, as from the valley, is the 
grandest of all tlie objects in sight ; a conical mountain beyond, 
and a little to the south of the south dome, is apparently as high, 
but few points, even of the euiamits of the Sierras, seem to be but 
little higher than it. 

The bare, smooth granite top of this mountain upon wliich we 
stand, and the stmited and storm-beaten pines that straggle for 
existence and sustenance in the seame of the rock, with other 
scenes equally iin prepossessing, present a view of savage sterility 
and dreariness that is in striking contrast with tlie productive fer- 
tility of the lands below, or the heavily timbered forests through 
which we pass on our way to the valley. 

From this ridge, which most probably is not less than 3,S00 
feet above the valley, we descend nearly 1,000 feet, at an easy 
grade, to tlio YoSemite River. Tlie enrrent of thiB stream, for 
half a mile above the edge of the falls, runs at the rate of about 
eight knots au hour. Upon careful measurement with a line, we 
find it to be thirty-four and a half feet in \vidth, with an average 
depth of twelve inches. The gray granite rock over which it runs 
is very hard, and as smooth aa a sheet of ice;to tread which in 
safety great care is needed, or before one is aware of it,he will 
find his head where his feet should be, and the force of the current 
sweeping him over the falls. 

When, on our return, we have reached the top of the ridge be- 
fore mentioned, and again see tlie wonders and glories that are 
beyond us, all that we seem to wish or hope for is tlic possession of 
a single poundof bread, or any other edibles; and after building us 
a fire, by which to sleep for the night without blankets, that we 
may pursue onr interesting explorations to a more satisfactory 
close on tlic morrow. 

LLia-. 135 

As the Bun will probably be very low before we are cunteut to 
leave this charniiiig 6]>ot, aud our deseeut will otrtipy us busily 
for over four hours, wu cannot arrive at the hotel until very latt' 
at night, so that we shall have to find our way ovt;r the jagged rocks 
and among the smootli boulders of the gorge in the dark, with the 
risk of breaking our limbs or neck. 


Ab no footsteps have ever trod the hazy summit of the dome- 
erowned mountain of granite, named Tis-sa-ack, that stands at the 
head of the Yo-Seraite Valley ; and no eye has ever looked into 
the purple depth and misty distance that stretches far away. 
across the valley of the San Joaquin, from its lofty top ; and, as 
we have visited the valley on purpose to explore some of its 
unknown and myeterioiis BurroundingB, it is very natural for us 
to feel an earnest yearning to gaze upon tho wonderg, beauty, and 
majesty, that may be visible from so bold and so higli a stand-point 
aa this, it being no less than four thousand five hundred feet (some 
surveyors make it four thousand nine Inindred and eighty feet) 
above the river that hurries past its base, and the most elevated 
of all tlie eminences around the valley. 

If you feci like making the attempt to climb it, as an excellent 
and companionable friend, Mr. Beardsltio (" Buck "j, would kindly 
suggest, we are ready to accompany you as guide, and will take 
you by the Indian trail up tho mountain, if you wieh it ; but it is 
a very difficult aud fatiguing undertaking, we assure you, accom- 
panied with some danger. 

The reader is, of course, familiar with the fact, that human 
nature is made up of contrarieties ; and that such is the desire, 
generally felt, to thrust the head into places of peril, instead of 
avoiding them from sheer love of personal safety, nothing will 
answer but to rush straight into danger, instead of from it, and t^t 
seek, rather than to shim it. As he no doubt confesses to a share in 
the common failing, the very mention of such a word as "danger" 
becomes an additional incentive, aud a conclusive argument tu 


tlie resolve of e 


f eiiteriug upon Hie task, and, eoiiBeniieiitly, prom]>tIy 
will accept the offer — at leant in iniaginatiun. 

Ab our foot fall on tlio flower-covered and lieautiftil. tliougli not 
very fertile hottoni-lands f>f tlie npjjer part of the valley, and wo 
thread onr way thmngh a labyrintli of oak. ]>ine, iua]>le, t-utton- 
wood, and other troes, the mountain walls on either sido throw 
tlieir awQ-iiiBpiriiig and heavy shadows uvor ub, and make oui' 
licartB leap with wild emotion and new pleasure, as though we 
Btandnpon enchanted ground, and all thi; scenes upiin whioh wo 
look are the magical creations of some wonder-working genii. 

On onr left, toworw in majestio grandeur the great Mount 
To-coi/-ae, or North Dome ; and before us, Btands the great object 
of our ainliitiouB cndeavorii. 

" A thin mifit is lyhig," as Mr. Tirrel so beantifnlly remarks, 
" upon the valley, iind stealing up the mountain sidL-s. Tlie clifis 
upon our left are all iti (h'ep i*hi«low. the oiitliTu- of their BninniitB 



ciitting tiarklv ami strongly against the briiliant light uf the 
unclouded sky. Great streams of simliglit come pouring tlirongli 
the openings in tlie cliffs, illiirainating long, radiating belts of 
mist, whicb extend clear across the valley, and are lost among tlie 
eonfusion of rock and foliage, fomiing the debris on the opjwsite 
side. Directly in front of us, and about throe miles distant, is 
Mount Tis-sa-ack, the highest immntain in the valley, as well as 
the boldest and most beautiful in outline. Its base is ehmuded 
in the hazy mystery which envelops every thing in the valley. 
Numerous little white duudw, becoming detached from tliis misty 
curtain, are sailing np the mountain side. Dodging about among 
the projecting spurs, intruding their beautiful forms slowly into 
the dark eavcms, puffed out again in a hurry by the eddying 
winds which hold possession of these gloomy recesses, and then 
resume their upward Hight, each following the otlier with tlie 
jireeision and regularity of a fleet of white-winged yachts, round- 
ing a stake hoat, and each eaten up by the eim with aetuiiisliing 
rapidity, as they sail slowly past the angle of shadow cast across 
the lower half of the mountain. High above all this, in the clear, 
bright sunshine, towers tlie lofty summit. Every projection and 
indentation, weather and water stain, fern, vine, and lichen, so 
clearly defined that one can almost seem to touch its surface by 
merely extending his anu. This moimtain divides the upper part 
of the valley iTito two parts : the river coming down the gorge to 
the southward of it, while on its northern side, close against its 
base, is a beautiful lake of the same name as the mountain, almost 
a mile in cii-cu mlerence, and very deep." 

On, on we march, in Indian file, until we are nearly tm tlie 
margin of tlie river. When we reach it, we find tliat a small, yet 
tall tree has fallen across to form a bridge, over which we walk, 
while tlie thundering water splashes, and surges, and eddies, as it 
sweeps against the rocks, much to the discomposure of the nervous 
systepi of sonte, knowing that we have to follow suit, or stay 

Tliis accomplished, we soon begin tlie aw-ent of the mountain 
over loose fragments of debris, and among huge masses of fallen 


roclcB, lying at the side of tlic mountain, and in the bed of a small 
but verj' deep eafion ; but these are eoon left behind, and we have 
to commence climbing around and over points of rocks, walking 
on narrow edges, or feeling our way past some projecting point, 
or tree, or slirub ; Bteadj iiig oureeh es by a twig, or 


jutting rock ; or holding on vritli our feet, as well as our bands, 
knowing that a slip will send us down several hundred feet, into 
the deep abyss that yawns beneath. 

In some places, where tlie ledges of pock are high and smooth, 
broken branches of trees have been placed, so as to enable tin- 
Indiana to climb above them ; and then, by removing the means 
of their ascent, cut off the pursuit of any advancing foe. Tliese, 
altliough risky places to travel over, and in no way inviting to a 
uer^-ous man, are of considerable assistance in the accomplishment 
of our task. 


After an exciting and fatiguing exereise, of about three hoiire, 
we reacli a large projecting rock, that forma a cave. Here we 
lake a rest of a fuw minutes, and then renew our efforts to reach 
the top of the mountain. A little before noon this ie accom- 

To our great comfort and satisfaction, a cool and refreshing 
breeze is blowing upon ub as Boon as we reach the summit ; and 
tliis IB especially welcome, as tlie heat, on the sheltered side, by 
which we have ascended, has been very oppressive, pouring dovpu 
upon HB from a hot snn, witliout the slightest breeze to fan, or 
shadow to shelter us, as we cUmb. 

The reader must not anticipate our narrative, by supposing that 
the difficult task of ascending the Great Dome is now accomplished, 
far from it; for, although we have reached the top of the elevated 
plateau, or mountain ridge, to tlie height of about three thousand 
seven hundred feet above the valley, the great, bald-headed object 
of our aspirations is still lifting its proud suuiinit more than a 

thousand feet above us. 

While advancing toward Tis-Ba-ack, looking out for some point 
where the ascent can bo the most BuccessfuUy attempted, we 
come upon the projecting margin of the immense granite wall of 
rock seen from below ; and, as wo stand upon it, looking down 
into the far off and misty depths of the valley beneath, with the 
river winding hither and thither, no language can describe the ap- 
palling grandeur and frightful profoundness of the scene. 

Steadying ourselveB against a stunted pine tree, that has been 
toughened and strcngtliened by its perpetual stniggles with the 
teinpcBts and storms of many a year, and which is growing from a 
narrow crevice in the granite mass on cither side, we roll several 
large, round rocks, that lie temptingly near the edge of the preci- 
pice, into the abyss beneath ; when we are surprised to find that 
many seconds elapse before they are heard to strike on the hare 
rock below. It is our opinion that this precipice cannot be lesB 
than two thousand seven hundred feet in perpendicular altitude. 
Here we are cnabUxl to find eorae flowers of a genus but recently 
known to botanists, and, eousetjuently, new. 

130 acENKS or oalifoknia. 

Without lingering too long, we again start on our enterprise, 
an<i find tliat on tJiis, the soiitli side (if tliu Dome, it is utterly 
impossible to climb up ; so we work our way through a dense, 
though comparatively dwarfish growth of inanzanita buslies, 
growing at tlie base of the Dome (whicli makes sad havoc in 
broadcloth unmentionables), and about two o'clock p. m. reax.'h 
the foot of a low, flattish, dome-shaped point of rock, that lies at 
the back or eastern side of the great Tis-aa-ack, and which is not 
ween from the valley. 

As we have not found a single drop of water to assuage our 
thirKt, since we left the river, and the day and the exercise alike 
provocative of it, our gratification is strong at the sight of a snow 
bank, snugly ensconced in the shade, on the north side of the 
Dome. We now quicken our footsteps, and soon find onrselves 
sitting comfortably beside it, taking lunch. An Hbunduncc of 
good water being found issuing from a crevice in the rock, a short 
distance down the mountain, we repair thither to finish our repast, 
and take a good, hearty draught, before attempting the ascent. 
Here we find several new varieties of flowering shrubs, in addition 
to some bulbous roots, and very pretty mosses. 

llie inner man being satisfied, the rapidly descending sun ad- 
monishes us to make the best of daylight to acciunphsh the task 
we liave set ourselves. Accordingly, we repair to the Lower 
Dome, which is one immense spur of granite, belonging to the 
Great Dome ; and, as its surface, by time and the elements, is 
made tolerably rough, there is found comparatively but little 
difficulty in climbing it, especially with a little assistance. 

In some of the fissures or seams of this rock, some low, stunted 
shrubs are growing. Wlien ww reach the top of the Lower Dome, 
which is, perhaps, about four hundred and fifty feet above the 
average level of the main ridge, to our dismay and disappoint- 
ment, we find that not only ia the gently rounding surface of 
the Great Dome itself at an angle of about sixty-eight or seventy 
degrees, but is overlaid and overlapped, bo to speak, with vast 
circular granite shingles — as smooth as glass — about eighteen 
inches in thickness, and extending around the Dome as far as our 



eyes can reach. Tlicse put everj hope to flifiht, of i-iir I'cL't, or 
those of any other visitora, ever treading iii>on the lot>v crown of 
this dome, without extensive arlifipial adjuncts to aid in its accuni- 
1 plishment. On the top of this immense mountain of smooth rocJt, 
I one solitary pine is growing ; and although it is harely disceniible 
I from the valley (and not at hII from the Lower Dome, where we are 
I standing), by the aid of the telescope, it is seen to he a tree of 
I ^odly eize. 

Much disappointed at the failure of the principal object of 

[ the enterprise, we will place our national banner upon the highest 

point attainable, in the hope that the day is not far distant when 

the number of visitui-s who shall annually couie to worship at this 

sublime temple of nature, may create the necessity for the con- 

Btruction of a strong iron staircase lo the very summit of Mount 

Tie-sa-ack ; and, that from the topmost crown of her noble head, 

[ the stars and strijies may wave triumphantly, as from tliis eleva- 

I tion the whole surrounding countrr can be seen afar off, and a 

[ thousand times fully reward the perseverance and fatigue of the 







A love for tlie beantifnl, in nature or art, is not only a magnet 
of attraction to persons of kindred tastea, but, dispelling all 
national prejudices and social ceremonies, becomes a bond of 
individual iViendship between men of different countries, liabitK, 
and peculiariticB. Especiaily is this remarkable in tbosc wbo 
travel mucli ; for, without being offensively obtrusive, tliey have 
learned to accept and bestow kindncssca promptly, as matters of 
natural courtesy ; and to ask or answer (questions, sometimes in 
partial anticipation of the wisliea and pleasures of a fellow- 
traveller, without any apparent obligation to or from either, and 
wbieb places tbem upon terms of intimacy and friendliness to 
each other. 

Tlirough sucli a medium, by the kindness of Rev, P. V. Veeder, 
of Napa, WG are favored with the following notes of comparison 
between the scenery of the Vo-Semite Valley, and that of some 
parts of Switzerland : 

" The Alps of Switzerland and Savoy may be compared to a 
vast ehield or buckler, lying on the bosom of the earth, and ex- 
tending one hundred and fit\y miles from the borders of France 
to the Alps of tlic Tyrol, and one hundred miles from the plains of 
Piedmont to the broad valley between the Alps and tlie Jura 
Mountains. From tliis rough-soamed surface, there rise three im- 
mense bosses, or projecting points — three radiating centres, sending 
off lofty chains of mountains toward each other, and into the 
plains of France, Italy, and Switzerland, at their feet. Tlio loftiest 
of these bosses or centres is Mont Blanc in Savoy, the height of 
which is fifteen thousand seven hundred and forty-four feet ; tlie 
next in height is Monto Uosa, fifteen thousand two hundred feet 
high ; and tlie third ia the Bernese Alps, the culminating point of 
which is the Finster-aarhom, fourteen thousand one hundred feet 
high. Tlieso three grand centres are about sixty miles apart, and 
each has a scenery peculiar to itself. They are alike vast, rugged, 
mountain maseee, towering six thonaand feet into the region of 


perpetual snow; but Mont B lane has its "aiguilles'' or iieedlt's; 
Muntt; Rosa, its wonderful iieiglibor, Mont CerviH; aiid tlie Ber- 
nese Alps have tlieir beautiful valley of niiety waterfalls, leaping 
over perpendicular cliffB, Tlie ti-aveller who visits Yo-Semite 
Valley after seeing the Alps, will be reminded of each of thes*; 
three grand centres. lie will see the aigiiiiles of Mont Blanc in 
the 'Sentinel,' or 'Ca&tle Roek,' rising, as etmight as a ntiedle. 
to the height of three thouaand two hundred feet above the valley, 
and in several other [xiinted rocks of the same kind. lie will be 
reminded of the STiblimest object in the vicinity of Monte Hosa, 
the MateJ-hom, or Mont Cervin, the summit of which is a dark 
obelisk of jiorphyry, rising, from a sea of snow, to the height of 
four thousand five hundred feet. Tlie 'South Dome,' at Yo- 
Sutnite Falls, is a sunilar obelisk, four ihouBand five hundred and 
ninety -three feet in height. 

" But, above all, the general shiipe, the size, and the waterfalls 
of Yo-Semite Valley give it tlie closest resemblence to the famous 
valley of Lauterhrunnen, at the base of the Jungfrau, in the 
Bernese Alps. No part of Switzerland is more admired and 
visited. To me, its chief charm is not so much its sublime preci- 
pices, and its h)fty waterfalls, which give the valley its name, 
'Lauterhrunnen,' mcjining 'eouniiing-brooks,' as the magnificent 
mountfiiu summits, towering up beyond the precipices, and the 
nneartliiy beauty and jnirity of the glistening snows on the bosom 
of tlie Jungfrau, and the mountains at the head of the valley. 
But these summits are not the peculiar characteristic features of 
Lauterhrunnen Valley. Tliese iire the waterfalls, the perjien- 
dicular precipices, and the beautiful grassy and vine-clad vale 
between. And these are the grand features of Yo-Semite Valley. 
Ilere you stand in a level valley of about the same dimensions as 
the Lautcrbninnen — from eight to ten miles long, and a little 
more than a mile wide—covered here with a magnificent pine 
forest, the trees averaging two hundred feet in height ; there, with 
a growth of noble oaks ; and elsewhere opening into broad, grassy 
flelds. These natural features almost equal in beauty the vine- 
yards, gardens, and ctiltivatetl fields of Lauterhrunnen. 



" But look now at tlio waterfalls : only one of them in the Swiss 
valley has a European celebrity— the Staubbaeh, or 'Dusi- 
Br(K>k' — known as tlie liighest uaaeadc in Europe. It falls at one 
leap, nine hundred and twenty-fivo feot. Long before it reaches 
the ground it het-ouieB a veil of vapor, beclouding acrea of fertile 
Boil at its foot. It ia worthy of all the admiration and cntliusinMii 
it excites in the beholder. But the 'Bridal Veil' (Pohono) Fall 
in Yo-Scinite Valley is higher, being nine linndrod and forty fetit 
in altitude; leaps out of a smoother channel, in a clear, synimetri- 
eal arch of indescribable beauty ; has a larger body of water, and 
is surrounded by far loftier and grander precipices. 

"When we come to tlie 'Yo-Seniite Falls' proper, wc behold 
an object which liaa no parallel anywhere in tlie Alps. The upper 
part is the highest wattafall in the world, as yet discovered, being 
fifteen liiindred feet in height. It reminds me of nothing in tlie 
Alps but the avalanches seen falling at intervals down the preci- 
pices of the Jungfrau. It is, indeed, a perpetual avalanche of 
water comminuted as finely as snow, and spreading, as it deecends, 
into a transpai'ent veil, like the train of the great comet of 1858. 
Aa you look at it from tlie valley beneath, a thousand feet below, 
it ia not unlike a snowy oornct, perpetually climbing, not the 
heavens, but tlie glorious cliffs which tower up three thousand 
feet into the zenitli above, not unlike a finnament of rock, 

*'The lower section of the Yo-Semite Falls has its parallel in 
Switzerland, the Ilnndcck, hut is much higher. Tlie scenery 
around the 'Venial' (Pi-wy-ack) Falls— wiiich resemble a section 
of the Aniericau Falls at Niagara — is like that of the Devil's 
Bridge, in the great St. Gotliard road, which ia, perhaps, the 
wildest and mcist savage spot in Switzerland, unless wo except 
that wonderful gorge of the Rhine — the Videllala. But when you 
climb through blinding spray, and up 'The Ladders,' to tlie top 
of the Vernal Falls, and follow the foaming river to the foot of 
the 'Nevada' (Yo-wi-ye) Falls, all comparison fails to convey an 
idea of the wildnesK and sublimity of the scene. The Swisa 
traveller must climb the rugged sides of Mont Blanc, cross the 
Mer de Glace, and, stationing himself on the broken ro<;kH of the 


■niK TO-SriMTTE VALLF-T. 13n 

(iardin, imftjjine a river i'jilling in a snowy avalanche over the 
shuiilder of one of tlie sharp aigiiilleg, or needle-shaped peaks 
around hnu. There are no glat-ierB at the foot of the Nevada 
Falle, but every other feature of the scene has an unearthly wild; 
ness, to be equaiL-d only near Alpine siiiumite. 

" To return again to the coinparifton of the eieter valleys — the 
Yo-Semite and the I^nterbrunncn. The third peculiar feature of 
the Swiss valley is the parallel precipices on each side, rising per- 
pendicularly from one tiiouaand to fifteen hundred feet. Tliey are, 
indeed, sublime, and where the cliff projects, in a rounded fonn, 
like the bastions of some huge castle, you might imagine that you 
beheld one of the strongholds of the fabled Titans of old. But what 
are they, compared with such a giant as Tn-toch-ah-nu-Iah, lifting up 
his square, gi-anite forehead, three thousand and ninety feet above 
tliu grassy plain at his feet, a rounded, curving clitf, as smooth, as 
Bymuietncal to the eye, and absolutely ae vertical, for the upper 
lii1:een hundred feet, as any Corinthian pillar on earth ! What 
ghalt we say, when, standing in the middle of a valley more than a 
mile wide, you know that if these granite walls should fall toward 
each other, Uiey would smite their foreheads together himdreds 
of feet above the valley ! What magnificent domes are those, 
Bearcely a mile apart — the one three thousand eight hundred feet, 
and the other four thousand five hundred and ninety-three feet in 
height! When yon stand in the valley of Lauterbrunnen. and 
look at the snowy enuimit of Jnngfran, or ' Virgin,' you behold an 
object eleven thousand feet above you ; but your map will tell 
you that it is five miles distant, and, by a little calculation, you 
will find that yon raise your eyes at an angle of only twenty-thrw 
degrees. So at Chauiounix, you look up at the snowy dome of 
Mont Blanc, rising twelve thousand three hundred and tliirty 
feet above yon ; hnt you must remember that it is six and one- 
half miles distant from you, and the angle at which you view it is 
only twenty degrei-s, while the very sharpest angle at which you 
can view it is twenty-five degrees. But at To-Semite you need 
but climb a few rods up the rocks at the base of that granite wall. 
«n<i, leauhig up against it, you may lixik np — if your nerves are 


steady euoiigli to witliBtaiid the itiipression that the cliffs are falling 
over upon you — and nee tiie sunmiitit alxive you, at an anglv 
iif nearly ninety degrei*; in nther wonis, yim will hchold a 
(iHiiiiitaiii top tlircf tlionsand feet above you in the senith. I have 
M-en thti «tii]>eii<lou8 declivity uf tlio Italian side of Monte Itosa — 
u steep, continnous precipice of nine thoueaud feet ; but it is 
niithing \i\ui Tn-toeh-ah-nu-lali, being nowhere absoiiitolv per- 


It is innch to be regretted that the tourist should allow liimself 
BO brief a period in tliis wonderful valley— generally alujut four 
dayn only, when it should have been fourteen — ^for, afttr he has left 
itrt subtinie solitudes, its ininiefous waterfalls and brooklets, its 
picturescjue river scenes, its gruups of shnibs and trees, its eudlesti 
variety of wihl Howors, its Ijold, rugged, awe-inspiring, pine- 
studded, and snow-covered mountain heights, with all their ever- 
clianging sliadows and curious shapes, and its health-giving and 
invigorating air, with its thousand of niunentionud charms, that 
would have given pleasurable occupation and grateful variety In 
every cIuhs Hiid condition, both of body and iiiiud, for nioutlis, lie 
contitistM that which he saw with that he might have seen, and 
Wconu's disaatisfled with his course in spending so much time, as 
well as money, in travelling there, and then riding off witltout 
siving more than a limited }>urti(in of such remarkable scenes. 

Now, however, we must not further linger, hut, with a reluctant 
heart it may lie, shake hands with the pleasant acquaintauees we 
leave behind, and wish tliem farewell. 

In iinler U\ look upon as great a variety of scenes as possible, it 
is well to go by one rtjute and retnm by the other ; and, as we 
rante by Cnnlterville, let us take the Mariposa trail on our way 

After again passing Sentinel Itf>ck, tlie Yo-Seniite Fall, the two 
lintels, and the picturesque gri>up kno\vn «;( Cathedral Rocks, 
iiftiiig our hilt in vespectful salutation at Tn-toch-ab-nu-Iah. and 

■ell of PoIlm 

■ most graei-l'iil watt'i-fall in 


tlie valley— we (inmnu-Ticp. tlie ast't-nt of tlic luoiintuiii. ciji inir wny 
to the Mariposa and Frezno Groves of mainmntli trtus. 

Tlie trail from Ilitc's and CimninghamV liotcl to tlic Pohoiio 
Fall is good; beyond tliat, as you astteiid tlie mountain, altbou^li 
tile trail baa been well laid mit, it in soniewbat roiigli and steep; 
yet. aa you climb point upon point, to the lieight of over lour 
ttioiisand feet, while it is a heavy tax upon the animal, \» soldoni, 
«r never, tedious to the rider, the numerous puinta uf wondtu- and 
lieauty growing upon him as be advances, 

Tlio general view of the valley, from InRpinilion Point, on this 

trail, is the most Wantiful and utriking of the whole; while, on 

the side of the inountuin we arc ascending, nnmerous elieets uf 

water shoot over in diffen-nt places. Our way up lies beneath the 

I shadowH of tall pines Iieinlucke, Douglass fire, and oaks, mad« 



vocal with the songs of birds, with the valley in sight for several 
miles, until we reach the top and sadly say Good-bye. 

From this point our course is around and over several h)W, well- 
timbered ridges, and across numerous small valleys, down many 
of which run several small streams of water, until we commence 
the gradual descent of a very long hill to Empire Springs, where, 
if it suits us, we encamp for the night, and cook the game we have 
killed during the day. Tlie picturesque scone, as we lie down be- 
neath the pines, looking at the stars, will be long remembered. 
The camping place is good — ^grass, wood, and water plenty. 
Early the following moniing, we arrive by a good trail, at Clark's 
Kanche, where we obtain an (excellent breakfast, and afterward 
visit the mammoth trees. 


Tm: MAiaffTTR tbkeb of 

ASD TR^aiO. 


wa£ suppnsud to be the only one of the kind in existcnue. But, 
during thelatttjrpartof July or the beginning of Angiist, 1855, Mr. 
Hogg, a hunter, in the employ of the Soutli Fork Merced Can&l 
Company, wliile in the pui-snit of his calling, Baw one or more 
trees, of the same variety and genus as thoec of Calaveras, grow- 
ing on one of the tributaries of Big t'reek, and related thu fact to 
Mr. Galen Clark, and other acquaintances. Late in September, 
or early in October ensuing, Mr. J. E. Clayton, i-ivil engineer, re- 
siding in Mariposa, while running a line of survey for Colonel 
J. C. Fremont, aeross eoine of the upper braufhes of the Frezno 
River, discovered other trees of the same class, but, like Mr. Hogg, 
passed on without further cxaaniiiHtion or exploration. 

About the lat of June, Mr. Miltun Mann and Mr. Clark were 
couvcrsing together on the subjeet, at Clark's Kanelit- on the South 
Fork of the Merced, when they mntually agreed to go out on a 
hunting excursion in the direction indicated by Mr. Hogg and Mr. 
CUyloii, for the purpose of ascertaining definitely the locality, size, 
and number of the trees mentioned. 

Well mounted, tliey left Clark's Kauehe, and proceeded up the 
divide between the South Fork of the Merced and Big Creek, in 
a soutli-eastem course, with the intention of making a circuit of 
several miles, if not at first successful—this i>lan being the most 
Buggeetive of their rediscovery. 

When on the summit of the mountain, about four miles from 
Clark's, they saw tlie broad and towering tops of the manmioth 
trees — since known as the " Mariposa Grove" — and shortly after- 
ward were walking among their immense tninks. A partial 
examination revealed the fact, that a second grove of trees bad 
been found, tliat was far more extensive than that of Calaveras, 
and many of the trees fully as largo as those belonging to that 
world -renowned group. 

Early the following spring, Mr, Clark discovered two smaller 
groves of large trees, of the same class and variety, each not ex- 
ceeding a tjuarter of a mile in distance from the other. 

About the end of July of the same year, he discovered anotlier 
Urge grove upon the head waters of the Frezno ; and two days 



afterward, Mr. L. A. IIolmcB, of the Mariposa Gaeette, and J udge 
Fitzbugh, wMle on a hunting excursion, saw tho tracks of Mr. 
Clark's mule as they passed the same group ; and as both those 
partit's were very thirsty at the time, and near the top of tho ridge 
at sundown, without water for themselves and animals, they were 
anxious to find this luxury and a good camping-place before dark. 
Consequently, they did not deem it best then to tarry to explore 
it, intending to pay this grove a visit at some early time of leisure 
in the future. Tliis interesting task, however, seemed to be ro- 
eerved for the writer and Mr. Clark, on the second and tliird days 
of July, 1859. 

With this short epitome of the discovery of these additional 
wonders, we shall now give a brief narrative of a visit paid them. 


Arriving at Clark's Ranche (situated about half-way between 
the Great Valley and Mariposa), Mr, Galen Clark, the proprietor 
of the ranebe, verj- kindly offered nut only to guide us through the 
Mariposa Grove of mammoth trees, but also to conduct ua to the 
Frezno Grove ; observing that, although the latter had been dis- 
covered by himself the previous year, it had not yet been csamined 
or explored by any one. Of course, as the reader may guess, this 
offer was too generous, and too much in accordance with our 
wishes, to bo declined. Our preparations completed, and when 
about to mount into the saddle, we both stood waiting. " Are 
you ready!'' asked our guide. "Quite," was tho prompt re- 
joinder ; " but haven't you forgotten your hat, Mr. Clark V " Oh, 
no," he replied, " I never have been able to wear a bat since I had 
the fever some years ago, and I like to go without noWjhetter than 
I did then to wear one." So much for habit. 

With our fire-anns across our shoulders, and our blankets and 
a couple of days' provisions at the back of our saddles, wo pro- 
ceeded for a short distance through the thick, heavy grass of the 
ranche, and commenced the gradual ascent of a well-timbered side- 
hill, on the edge of the valley, and up and over numerous low 
ridges, all of which were more or less covered with wild flowers, 



I on onr way to tlic Maripoea Grove. Altliough the trail wae well 
ni and good, yet, on account of the long ascent to tho summit 
of tlie ridge, it was with no Bmall pleasure that we found ourselves 
in the vicinity of the grove. 

Skelclud from natvre, by 0. TVrrcl, 

Who can picture, iu language, or on i^anvas, all the Bublime 

depths of wonder that flow to tlje soul in thrilling and intenBe 

I Burpriee, when the eyo looks upon these great marvels ! Long 

, vistas of forest shades, formed by imincnse trunks of trees, extond- 

ing hither and thither; now an-hod by the overhanging branches 

of the lofty taxodiums, then by the drooping boughs cf the white- 

l blossomed dogwood ; while the high, moaning sweep of tlie pines, 

I and the low whispering swell of the firs, sung awe-inspiring au- 

[ tliems to their groat Planter. 

TIio Indians, in years that are past, have, with Vandal hands, 
I Bet portions of this magnificent forest on fire; so that burnt stumps 
[ of trees and blackened underbrush frown upon yon from several 
I points. Indeed, many of tlie largest and noblest looking are 
I badly deformed from this cause. Still, beautiful clumps of from 



three to ten trees in ea«li, and (ftliers iitiinilin<; iilmie. ur 
sonnd, and well funned. 

"Passing up the ravine, or haain," eaje Mr. J. Lamenn, who 
kindly sent us the sketch from whidi this engraving is made, 
" we came to a largo stem, whose top had lieen stripped of it« 
branches, giving it somewhat the resetnblanee of an immense 
spear, and forcibly reminding one of Milton's description of Satan's 
weapon uf that name : 

'To equal ntiicli. ilie tnlloaC pine. 

Ilown on XorwcgiJin liUla to bo the must 

or Bome great omtniral, wera but u wand.' 

Uelievmg this to be far greater than any tree Miltmi ever drKiiMHHl 


(I I liable Prini;e uf 


[.of, and fidly etjual to the waiita of any : 
Parkneas, in compliment to tlie jioet and liis liero, we named it 
'Satan's S]>ear.' Its circumference is seventy-eiglit feet. 

"Several rods to tlie left of tliia, is another large trunk, with a 
dilapidate<l top, presenting the appearance of a tower, and is 
called 'The Giant's Tower;' seventy feet in circuinfereute. Beyond 
this, stand two double treea, which liave been named 'Tlie Twin 
Bisters.' Stilt further on, is a tree witli a straight and slender 
body, and a profusion of lieautifiil foliage; near which, frowned 
a savage-looking monster, with a scarred and knotted trunk, and 
gnarled and broken brancheB, bringing to one's recollection tlie 
Btory of ' Beauty and the Beast.' Crossing tlie ravine near ' Satan's 
Spear,' there are many fine trees upon the si<lo and Bumniit of the 
ridge. One of the finest, whose circumference is sixty feet, and 
whose top consists uf a mass of foliage of exceeding beauty, is 
called 'The Queen of the Forest.' Above these, stands 'Tlie 
Artist's Encampment,' seventy-seven feet in circumference, though 
eo large a portion of its trunk has decayed or been bunied away 
to a height of thirty feet, as materially to lessen its dimensions." 

As tlio size of the principal trees was ascertained by Mr. Clark. 
Slid Colonel Warren, editor of the Califomia Farmtr, in which 
journal it first appeared, and as their measurements doubtless 
approximated to correctness, we give them below : 

" Tlie first tree was ' Tlie Rambler,' and measuring it three and 
a half feet from tlie ground, we found it eighty feet in circuinfer- 
«nce; close at the ground, one hundred and two feet; and, canj- 
fiilly surveyed, two hundred and fifty feet high. Ti-ee N<t. 2, 
nearly fifty feet in circumference. No. 3 (at the spring), ninety 
feet, three and a half feet from the ground ; one hundred and two 
at tlic ground ; and three hundi-ed feet high. Nos, 4 and 5 ('The 
Bisters') measured eighty-two and eighty seven feet in circumfer- 
ence, and two hundred and twenty-five feet high. Many of the 
had lost portions of their top6,by the tttorras that had swept 
over them. 

"Tlie whole number measured, was one hundred and fit^-five. 
Vid these comprise but about half tbe group, which we estimate 




^^H cover about two to 

three hundred acres, and lie in a triangular 

^^H fonn. Some of the 

trees first meet your view in the vale of tlie 

till you 

^^H find yourself gazing upon tlie neighboring points, eomc t^n miles 

^^M friiin you, whose tops are etill covered with their winter 


^^M The following are tlie numbers and measurement of the trees : 

^^^ 1 ire«, 102 fcvt in 

^^M 1 tree, BT feet 

<lo 1 tree, 35 feet 



^^K I tree, »2 n^ot 

do 2 trees, 3G feet each 



^^^H 3 trees, 76 feet eudi 

du 2 trees, 32 feet eacli 


^^^1 I tree. 72 feet 

do 1 tree, 28 feet 


^^^B 3 tmea, 70 feet each 

do 3trees.l0areeteach 


^^^1 1 troe. G8 Teet 

do ! tree, 82 feel 


^^H 1 iree, GO feet 

do 1 tree, BO feet 


^^m 1 ireo. 63 fbet 

do 3 trees, 77 feet each 


^^^1 3 trees, 63 feet eacli 

do 1 tree, 7G feet 


^^^V 3 trees, GO Teet i^ncb 

do 3 trees, 75 feet each 


^^^^ 1 tree, 69 feet 

do 1 tree, 64 feat 



^^B ] tree, SB feet 

do 4 trees, 65 feet each 



^^^1 3 tre«B, 51 feet eadi 

do 2 trees, 03 feel encli 


^^H 1 tree, 1>6 feet 

da 1 tree, CI feet 


^^H 3 tree)!, 55 feet each 

do 10 trees, GO feet each 


^^H 2 trees, G4 feet ewli 

do 3 trees, 59 ftei each 


^H I tree, 53 feet 

do 9 trees, 51 feet escli 


^^^1 ] tree, 61 foet 

do 6 trees, SO feet each 


^^^1 i trees, 50 fcoi each 

do 1 tree, 49 feet 


^^H 6 trees, 49 feel chcIi 

do 1 tree, 47 feet 


^^^1 b treSH, 48 feet eiicli 

do 1 tree, 46 feet 



^^H S trees, 47 feet each 

do 3 trees. 45 feet eaoh 



^^H 3 trees, 46 feet each 

do 1 tree, 43 feet 


^^^1 I trees, 45 feet esch 

do 7 trees, 44 feet each 


^^H 1 tree, 44 feet 

do 4 trees, 42 feet eac)i 



^^V 2 trees, 43 feet endi 

do 3 trees, 41 feet eacli 


^^F S trees, 42 feet each 

do 8 trees, 40 feet earii 


^^M "Some of th(3se 

were in groups of three, four, an 

d ev 

en five, 

^^M seeming to spring from tlie seeds of one cone. Several 

L>f these 1 

^H glorious trees we have, in association with our friend, 

named. J 

^H The one near the apr 

iiig we call the " Fountain Tree," as it i 

UBodas 1 

^^L the fiouree of the refreshment. Two trees, measuring ninety and J 

^^1 ninety-sevenfeotin 

sircumferenee, were named the "Two Friends." i 



He groups of trees conaiBtfd of many of jHSfuliar beauty aiid 
interest. One of those, whitli measured one huudrod feut in cir- 
cumference, was of exceeding gigantic proportions, and towered 
up three hundred feet ; yet a jsortion of its top, where it apparent- 
ly was ten feet in diameter, hail been swept off by stoniiB. While 
wo were measuring this tree, a large eagle came and perched upon 
it, emblematical of the grandeur of this forest as well as that of 
our country. 

" Near by it stood a smaller tree, that seemed a child to it, yet 
it measured forty-seven feet in circumference. Not far from it 
was a group of four splendid trees, two bimdred and fifty feet 
high, which we named the " Four PiliarB," each over fifty feet in 
circumference. Two gigantic trees, seventy-five and seventy-seven 
feet in circumference, were named "Washington" and "Lafay- 
ette;" these were noble trees. Another group we called "The 
Graces," from their peculiar beauty. One mighty tree that had 
fallen by fire and biinied out, into which we walked for & lotig 
distance, we found to be the abode of the grizzly ; there lie had 
made his nest, and it excited tlie nerves to enter so dark an abode. 
Yet it was a fitting place for a grizzly. Another tree, measuring 
eighty feet, and standing aloof, was called the Lone Giant ; it 
went heavenward some three hundred feet. One monster tree 
that had fallen and been burned hollow, has been recently tried, 
by a party of our friends, riding, as they fashionably do, in the 
Baddle, through the tnnnel of the tree. These friends nide through 
this tree, a distance of one hundred and fifty-three feet, Tlie tree 
had been long fallen, and measured, ere its bark was gone and its 
sides charred, over one hundred feet in circumference, and prolj- 
ably three hundred and fifty feet in height, 

" The mightiest tree that lias yet been found, now lies upon the 
ground, and, fallen as it lies, it is a wonder still ; it is charred, and 
time has stripped it of its heavy bark, and yet across the butt 
of the tree as it lay upturned, it measured thirty-three feet with- 
out its bark ; there can be no question that in its vigor, with its 
bark on, it was forty feet in diameter, or one hundri'd and twenty 
feet in circumference. Only about one hundred and fifty feet of 

148 BCKNE8 m OALmtBNIA, 

the tnink reuiaiae, yet the cavity when; it fell is still a large 
hollow beyond the portioii burned off; and, upon pacing it, 
tneasuring from the root one hundred and twenty paces, and esti- 
mating the branches, this tree must have been tour hundred feet 
high. We believe it to be the largest tree yet discovered." 

Tiiis grove of mammoth tree* consists of about six linndred, 
ninre or less. It nmst not be supposed that these large taxodinnis 
monopolize the one mile by a quarter of a mile of ground over 
which they arc scattered ; as some of the tallest, largest, and 
most graceful of sugar pines and Doiiglasa firs we ever saw, add 
their beauty of form and fitliage to t!ie group, and contribute much 
til the inipiising grandeur of the effect. 


Crossing a low ridge to the soutli-westward of the large grove, 
IS another small one, before alluded to. in which there are many 
jitie trees. We measured one sturdy, gnarled old fellow, which, 
although badly bume<1, and the bark almost gone, so that a large 
jwrtion of its original size was lost, is, nevertheless, still ninety 
feet in circumference, and which we took the liberty of nauiiug 
tiie " Grizzled Giant." 

An immense tnink lay stretched upon the ground, that meas- 
ured two hundred and sixty-four feet in length, although a con- 
siderable portion of its crown has been burned away. This was 
named by Mrs, J. C. Fremont, " King Arthur, tlie Prostrate 

visrr TO TnK fekzno oeove. 

Leaving tlie " South Grove," we atniek across Big Creek and 
its branches, in a course almost due south, as near as the niggod, 
iiick-bonnd mountain spurs would permit, in the direction of the 
l-'rezno group, some of whoso majestic and feathery tups could he 
ween from the ridge we had left behind. 

Apparently, these trees were not more than six miles distant 
fi"om the Marijjosa Grove; but which, owing to the traillesa course 
we had to take, down and across the spurs of Big Creek, were not 


'** ^^ ^l ^ 

Till flnizzLKD oun. 

rrom galan. ty 0. nirit 

1 50 SCENES 

lesB than ten miles. About six o'clock f. h., we arrived at tlie 
foot of some of the mammoth trees, that stood on the ridge, liki* 
sentinel giiarde to the grove. These were from fifty to sixty feet, 
only, in circumferenpe. 

As the Eim was fast sinking, we deemed it the most pnident 
course to look out for a good camping-ground. Fortimately, we 
disirovered at firist the only patch of grass to he found for several 
miles; and, as we were making our way through the forest, feel- 
ing that most pruhahly we were tlie first whites who had ever 
broken its profomid solitudes, we heard a splashing sound.prueced- 
ing from the direction of the bright green we had seen, Tliia, 
with the rustling of hushes, reminded us that we were invading 
the secluded home of the grizzly bear, and that good sjiort or danger 
would soon give varietj" to our employments. 

Hastily dismounting, and unsaddling our animals, we jjioketed 
them in the swampy graas-plat, still wet with the recent spirtings 
of several bears' feet that IiacJ hurriedly left it; then kindling a 
tiro, to indicate by its smoke the direction of our camp, we started 
ipiietly out on a bear hunt. 

( 'autioubly peering over a low ridge but a few yards from camp, 
we saw two large bears slowly moving away, when a sliglit sound 
from us arrested thoir attention and progress. Mr. Clark was 
about raising his rifle to fire, when we whispered—" Hold, Mr. C, 
if you please — let ns have the first shot at that immense fellow 
there." "With pleasure," was the prompt response, and, at B 
distance of twenty -five yards, a heavy charge of pistol balls, from 
an excellent shot-gmi,waB poured into his body just behind the 
shoulder, when he made a plunge of a few feet, and, wheeling 
round, stood for a few moments as though debating in bis own 
mind whether he should return the attack or retreat; but a ball 
from the unerring rifle of our obliging guide determined him upon 
the latter course. Tlio other bad preceded him. 

We immediately started in pursuit; and although their course 
i'ould readily be followed by biood dropping from the wounds, a 
dense mass of cbaparal jirevented tis from getting sight of either 
again, although we walked around upon tlie look-out until tbe 


' darkncHS compelled us to return to camp, where, after eupper, 
we were booh souudly sleeping. Early the next morning we fol- 

I lowed up the divertiMHemeiit, for a few hours; but meeting with 

! iio game larger than grouse, we commenced the exploration of 

I the grove. 

Tills coueistg of about five hundred trees of the taxodium family, 
on about as many acres of dense forest land, gently undulating. 
Tlie two largest we could find measured eighty-one feet each in 

, circumference, well formed, and straight from the ground to the 
top, Tlie others, equally sound and straight, were from fifty-one 
feet to seventy-tivi! feet in eireumfercnce. Tlie sugar pines {I'inuti 

I iMinbertiand) were remarkably large ; one that was prostrate 
near our camp measured tweuty-nine feet and six inclies in cir- 

I cumference, and two hundred and thirty-seven feet in length. 
Fire has uot desolated and deformed this, like the groves of Calav- 

' eras and Mariposa. 

It ought here to lie remarked, that Mr. L. A. Holmes and 
Judge Fitzhugh saw an extenhive gi'ove of much larger trees than 
these on the Lead waters i>i the San Joaquin Rivi-r, about twelve 
miles east of those on the Frezno ; but it has never been e\- 

' plored. 

All of these trees are precisely of Ilie Kame genus and variety 
s those of Calaveras, and will abundantly ivward visitei's who 

[ Bpend a day or two here, on their way to the Yc^Seniite Valley. 
The trail, from the South Fork of the Merced Kiver to Mari- 
posa, is of an easy grade, upon which a good stage-road could be 

[ constructed without much difficulty, and which would materially 

I increase the comfort of a majority of tourists, and shorten the time 

I of reaching the Mammoth-Tree Grove,or Yo-Semite Valley. The 

\ heavily timbered ridges, covered with pines; the gently undulat- 
ing hills dotted with oaks ; and the flower-margined ravines that 
»re crossed, are beautifully picturesfjue and gratefully inviting to 

I the eye ; until the busy hum of mining life tells that the town of 

L Mariposa is near. 

For the convenience of those travellers who would like to visit 

L the Yo-Semite Valley, by way of Mariposa — which is quite as good 

M cillier ol the ochcr raatea — w% sppoi*} die fiiilltnriiig tsUe at 
itiifMM < ■ fsmt^ed OB bv Mr. Clarfc :* 


Althoiigh time are several camping pUce» beyond this, tKe firet 
good one H Empire Camp. 

Vrvn KaripaM 10 Enpirc Cvnp M 

n«giltelpa««>OwlCMBp SB 

noM llviytNB t» HodBMiB KMdDWk ^ ar 

foaacbw of tbeae meadows are fimnd about ererr half mile fi>r 
five milex ; irater plenty. 

TotheVklfe/. froin knr«r endaftbttalfcadaBS. 8 

Making the difttanc-e 


?n>m Uaripon 10 th« VaOer 50 

Pnm the Vulie; to Cvtminitbam'i Hotel 4j 

• VsUey w Hitt's Hotel 5* 

Tottl - S5( 


Maiipoaa is tlie most eontlierly of all the mining towns of im- 
portance in tlie State. Altlioiigli it has snffered more, jwrhaps, 
than almost any other mining district, for the want of water for 
mining pnrpoaea ; owing t/j ita quartz leads, and rich flat, gulch, 
and hill diggings, it has generally been prueperoua; and being 
the county seat, as well aa t)ie trading centre of nnmerous small 
camps around, its Btr(?et«, at certain seaaona of the year, present a 

It TJsit Ur. Clark ibfonnod iin. that Utc nearest waj- to the Yo-Scnute 

V»U*J, from MarlposB, «a« by Lotcjoj'b Road to the toU-hou8c. theoca by Wliite and 

Haudi'a Bood. to Ite Loup'i ranch, thence by a now road, rcccnily opened until it in- 

la Uie old YchSemito trail, near tlie CliowchllU, whore a Bign-boord marked " Yo- 

ti Tr>a," iiulic*tce tbe tnursa to take. 



very lively appearance. An ably edited and spirited paper, The 
Mariposa Gazette, is issued weekly, L. A. Holmes editor and 

Till' jujj'iihitii'n is iilxiut thirteen hundred, or about oiie-stivcntli 

It is here that the t-elebrated Fremont Qratit is located. Beinp 

I an excullent starting-point to the To-Semit« Valley and the Mari- 

l.posa Grove of mammoth trees, it is likely to become a p!ni;e fa- 

1 moua to history and the note-books of travellTB. The neat and 

■ tastefully unltivated gardens in the vicinity, give an air of freah- 

, and home-like briglitnese, that some other places we miglit 

mention would do well to imitate. The distance from Stockton 

) Mariposa is ninoty-one miles, and the road good, upon which a 

ine of Btagoa is running on alternate days. Here horses for the 

I trip can be obtained at two dollars per day. 




SatTT-FTTE miles south of San Francisco, near the head of the 
boantit'iil and fertile valley of San Jo(*e. and in an eastern spur of 
tlio Coast llange of mountains, is tlie quicksilver mine of Npw 

With your permission, kind reader, we will enter the stage as it 




waits on the Plaza, San Francisco, and, as tlie clock strikes eiglit, 
start at once on our journey. Lucky for us, it is a fine bright 
morning, as the fog has cleared off, and left us {on a dew-making 
excursion, no doubt, up the countrT,'), and as we are to be fellow- 
travellers, at least in imagination, and wish to enjoy ourselves ; 
while the stage rattles over the pavement, and rumbles on the 
wood planking of the streets, let us say "Good-bye" to our 
earee, as we did to our friends, and lisave them, with tlie city, he- 
hind ns. 

How refreshing to tlio brow is the breeze, and grateful to the 
eye is the beautiful green of the gardens, as we pass them, in the 
■uburbs of the city, on our way. Even the hills in the distance 
arc dotted wilh the dark green of the live oaks, and are beautiful 
by contrast. 

On, on, we go, rolling over hills, travelling in the valley, passing 
ferms and wayside houses; now watering horses here, then chang- 
ing horses there, and dropping mail bags yonder, until we reach 
the flourishing old Mission of Santa Clara. Here we long to 
linger, and as we look upon the orchards laden with fruit, we 
almost wish to bribe the coachman to wait while we buy, beg, or 
rteal, those cherrj^-eheeked and luscious-looking pears ; or take a 
walk amid the shadows of the Old Mission Church. But the signal 
" all aboard," hurries ua to our seats, and we soon enter an avenue 
of old willow and poplar trees, that extends from Santa Clara to 
San Jos^, a distance of three miles, and which was planted by and 
for the convenience of the two Missions. On either aide of this 
avenue, at intervals, there are tasteful cottages, flourishing farms, 
nurseries, and gardens, which are well supplied with water from 
Wtesian wells. 

Arriving in San Jos<^,wg find a neat and pleasant agricultural 
city, with all the temptations of fruit and flowers in great variety, 
and a brisk business activity observable, in each department of 
btisincss,in the streets. Ono thing may impress us unfavorably 
liere, viz. : the large number of members of the legal profession 
(thirty-seven, we believe) in so small a city, 
fact brought to mind — 



" An upper mill, and lower miU, 

F^ OQt aboat tha water: 
To war Uiey went, that is ti> Uw, 

BeoolTed to giTa no qoaner. 

- A lawyvr was bj vhA eii«>e«*l, 

And hotlj Qtef eoateaiti ; 
Vbea feea gnw Kant, iha war ibej w^«l,— 

Tbey jadged, 'vwere better endod. 

"The beaTj coaU imiaiDinicaliU, 

Were sealed wilboot pcxber— 
Otie lawyer cook ttia tipp«r mil), 

Tbe lower nUU the other.'" 

— and it set ns lo rnnimaling. But let us jump into llm ea^y 
coach in waiting, and we fehall forget all that, and liavij a very 
pleasant ride of fourteen miles upon a good road, througli an ever- 
green grove of live oaks, and past the broad shading branches of 
the fij-camore trees, and in a couple of hours find ourselves drink- 
ing heartily of the delicious waters of the fine cool soda spring, at 
the romantic village of New Almadcn. As we have passed 
through enoQgli for one day, let us ^^ait until muruing, before 
climbing the hill to examine the mines. 


This mine has been known forages by the Indians, who worked 
it for the vermilion paint that it contained, with which they 
ornamented their persons, and on that account had bet^ome s 
valuable article of exchange w-ith other Indians, from the Gulf of 
California to the Columbia River. It* existence was also known 
among the cariy settlers of California, although none could esti- 
mate the character or value of the metal. 

In lS4o a captain of cavalry in the Mexican service, named 
t'astillcro, having met a tribe of Indians near Bodega, and eeeiiig 
tlieir faces painted with vermilion, obtained from them, for a 
reward, the necessary information of its locality, when he visited 
it, and having made many very interesting experiments, and detei^ 


158 BCENE8 

mined the character of the metal, he regiBtered it in accordance 
with tlie Mexican custom, about the close of that year. 

A conipany was immediately fonaed, and the mine divided intu 
twenty-four shares, when the company immediately eonunenced 
working it on a small scale ; but, being unable to carry it on fur 
want of capital, in 1846 it was leased out to an English and Mexi- 
can company for the term of sixteen years ; tlie original company 
to receive one-quarter of the gross products for that time. In 
March, 1847, the new company commenced operations on a large 
scale, but finding that to pay one-fourth of tlio proceeds, and yet 
to hear all the expenses of working the mine, would incur a con- 
siderable loss, they eventually pun-liased out most of the original 
si I are holders. 

In June, 1850, this company had expended tkre^ hundred and 



^^ bai 

mtighty-seven thousand eight hundred dollars over and above a\\ 

r receipts. During that year, a new proceBS of smelting the 

I uitroduced by a black8mitli,nainei:l Baker, which buc- 

jtled so well, that fonrteen smelting fiimaccs have been ereeteO 

pby tlie comitany upon the same priueiple. 


Tlie process of extracting the quicksilver from the einuahar is 
very simple. Tlie ore c/iatnher,B, is filled with cinna- 
bar, and covered eeenrcly up; a fire is then kindled 

■in the furnace at A, from which, througli a perforated 
all of brick, the heat enters the ore chamber and 
irmeates the mass of ore, from which arises the 

•quicksilver, in the shapeof vapor, and, iiassing through 
tiie perforated wall on the opposite aide, enters the 
condensing chambers at (', rising to the top of one, 
and falling to the bottom of the other, as indicated by 
the arrows, and as it passes through the condensing 
chambers (thirteen in number), it coola and be<;oinea 
quicksilver. Should any vapor escape the last con- 
densing chamber, it passes over a cistern of cold water 
at D, whert;, from un enclosed pipe, water is scattered 

r a sieve, and falls up)n and cools tlie vapor as it passes into 

e obiinney, or funnel chamber, at E, 
he quicksilver then runs U> the lower end of each condensing 
inber, thence thmugli a small pipe into a tmugh that c-vletids 
!i one end of the building to the other, where it enters a large 

Kular caldron, from which it is weighed into flasks, In quantities 


ot" seventj'-tive pounds. To save time, one set of fiirna<?eK is gener- 
ally cooling and being filled, wliile the otiier ia burning. 

Now-, let lis gradually aseentl to the patu>,or yard, in front of 
the mine, a visit to which has bc-en so truthfully and beautifully 
described by Mrs. S. A. Downer, that we itre tempted to introduce 
tlie reader to uueh good conipaiiy, 


" At the right, wne a deep ravine, through which flowed a 
brook, supplied by ejirings in tlie niounlaiiis, and wljicli, in plai'es. 
was completely hid by tangled masses of wild-wood, among which 
we diBoemeil willows along its edge, with oak, sycamore, and 
buckeye. Altliough late in tlio summer, roses and eonvolvuli, 
with several varieties of floss, were in blossom ; with sweet-brier, 
honeysuckle, and various plants, many of which were unknown 
U> us, not then in bloom, and which Nature, with prodigal Itand, 
has strewn in hounteons profusion over every acre of the land. 
To the left of the mountain side, the wild gooacberry grows in 
abundance. The fniit is large and of gowl flavor, though of rough 
exterior. Wild oats, diversified with shnibs and live-oak, spread 



around us, till we reach the patio, nine hundred and i'urty foet 
abovb thii base oC tlie luoiiutaiii. Tlie road ia noiiietliini; over a 
mile, allliijiigli there are few personi who have travellwl it on fool, 
under a burning aun, hut would he willing to make their affidavnte 
fit was near live. 

" Li't ua pause and look around iia. For a distance of inany 

rmile-s, nothing ia aeen hut the tops of sucfessive mountains; then 

I appears the beantifnl valley of San Juan, whilu tlie C'oiiat llange 

K-JB lust in distance. Tlit; patio is an ania of more tti»u an a<-rc in 

^extent; and still above us, but not directly in view, is a Mi-xiean 

ttlumcnt, composed of the families and lodgiug-cabius of the 

Uiners. Tliere is a store, aTid provisions are carried up on pack- 

mules, for retail among the miners, who may truly he said to live 

from hand to month. Tliia jioint had been the resort of the 

aborigines, not oidy of this State, bnt from as far aa tlm Columbia 

Hiver, to obtain the paint (vermilion) found in the ciimabar, and 

^vliich tliey nsed in the decoration of tiieir persons. IIuw long 

litiiia had been known to them, cannot be ascertained ; probably a 

long time, for they had woi-ked into the mountain some fitW or 

sixty feet, with what implements eaii only he conjectured. [Stones 

and pointed sticks. — Ed.] A fjnantity of round stones, evidently 

from the brook, were found in a passage, with a number of akcle- 

s ; the deatnictioii of life having been cauaed, undoubtedly, by 

kKudden caving in of the earth, burying the unskilled eavagea in 

I'tiie midat of tlieir labora. It iiad been supi>oaed for some time 

I tbat the ore ]>oaaihly contained the precious metals, but no regular 

fasaay was made till 1S45; a gentleman now largely interested, 

)cured a retort, not doubting that gold, or at least silver, would 

. his efforts. Its real character was made knowni by its 

■pernicious effects upon the system of the experimenter. Tlie 

|di8covery wae instantly communicated to a brotlier, a member of 

a wealtJiy firm in Mexico, who, with otiiers, pureliascd the property, 

"conflisring of two leagues, held under a Spanish title, of the 

original owner. For some years but little was done. Tlie ore 

proved both abundant and rich, but required the outlay of a vast 

BtDount of capital to be worked to advantage; mid while Nature, 

■ 11 


with more than her usual liberality, had fumiehed in the mountajn 
itself all the aceessories for the euecessful prosecution of her favors, 

man was tou timid to avail himself of her gifts. 


"In 1850, a tunnel was commenced in the side of the moun- 
tain, in a line with ihej>atio, and which has already been carried 
to the distance of one thousand one hundred feet by ten feet wide, 
and ten feet high to the crown of the ai-ch, which is ntrongly 
roofed with heavy timber tliroughout its whole length. Through 
this the rail-traek passes; the par receiving tlie ore as it is brought 
on the backs of the carriers {tenateroti) from the depths botow.or 
from the heights above. The track being free, we will now take 
a seat on the car and enter the dark space. Not an object ia 
visible save the faint t*>rch-liglit at the extreme end j and a chill- 
ing dampness seizes on the frame, so suddenly bereft of warmth 
and sunshine. Tliis sensation does not continue as we descend 
into the subterranean caverns 
below ; and now commence the 
wonders as well as the dangers 
I of tlie undertaking. By ihe light 
of a torch we pass through a damp 
ssage of some length, a snd- 
(|i ii turn bringing us into a sort of 
M-iilitiIc, where, in a uichi) at 
uiK: hi'le, is placed a rude shrine 
of the tutelary saint, or protectresa 
of the mine — ■Nv^etra Se^ra de 
(ruaiialuj>e, before which lighted 
candles are kept constantly burn- 
ing, and before entering upon the 
labors of the day or night, each 
man visits this shrine in devotion. 
Tou descend a perpendicular lad- 
der, formed by notches cut into 
a solid log, perhaps twelve feet ; 

^_ "igl 



^ -1 

are •■ 




tiien turn and pass a narrow comer, where a frightl'iil gulf setjins 
yawning to remve yon. Carefully threading your way over the 
very narrowest of footholds, you turn into another passage bla<.-k 
night, to descend into a flight of steps formed in tlie sid^ of the 
,ve, tread over some loose stones, turn around, step over arches, 
wn into another passage that leads into many dark and intricate 
vindings and descendinga, or chambers supported by but a column 
of earth ; now stepping this way, then that, twisting and turning, 
all tending down, down to where, through the darkness of mid- 
night, one can discern the faint glimmer, which shines like Shak- 
apeare's ' good deed iu a naughty world,' and which it seems 
possible one can ever reach. We were shown & map giving 
the subterranean topography of this mine ; and truly, the crossings 
'»nd recrossings, the windings and intricacies of the labjTlnthiue 
isages, could only be eompai-cd to the street* of a dense city, 
while nothing short of the clue furnished Tlieseus by Ariadne, 
TToiiM insure the safe return, into (iiiy,of tlie unfortunate pilgrim 
who should enter without a guide. 

Ttie miners have named the ditferent passages afler their saints, 
id run them oif as readily as we do the streets of a city ; and 
ler exhausting the names of all the saints in the calendar, have 
immernxfl on different animals, one of which is not inaptly called 
'I ElffatUe. Some idea of tlie extcait and number of these pass- 
may be formed, when we state, that sixty pounds of candles 
are used by the workmen in the twenty-four hours. Another turn 
brings us upon some men at work. One stands upon a single 
plank placed high above us in an arch, and he is drilling into the 
rock aijove him for the jiurposo of placing a charge of i)owder. It 
ipears very dangerous, yet we are told that no lives have ever 
ost, and no more serious accidents have occurred than the 
ising of a hand or limb, from carelessness in blasting. How 
maintain his equilibrium is a mystery to us, while with 
'«Tery thrust of the drill hia strong chest heaves, and he gives 
utterance to a sound something between a grunt and a groan, 
which is 8Upi>o&ed by then) to facilitate their labor. Some sis or 
eight men working in one spot, each keeping up hia agonizing 

wwwJ, swafc^ > hem tfrnftAj. "Wtm it odIt a ajieerfiil fins;- 
mmg, one eoald stand it ; bat nt that dkanl |Jace, their vizanl- 
l&a ftmM mmI appeusBce, ivlievwd ImS "br lite l%)tf of ft ain^le 
taUcnr eaadle Oark ta tbe ade a<' the mck, jost saffiesent to make 
'dsrimew rkible,' u like wpcaing to as the ahade* of Tartamii ; 
aod ifce dmwH efidted fttaa over-vmo^t bnmaD boni! uul niosrle. 
•oand nke the CTgwiih "Kwmtg {Km ttif«nul »{)irit», who h<>[Nr fiir 

' — ' 

gpa^g^^^^^^^i^j ^ 

!^- - 


"Tlii-M- iiii'ii work in cnm panics, one set by night. anolhiT by 
liny, altifniating wuck abont, "We inqiiircd the avera^- duration 
of life of the nu-ii «lir) work under groimd, and foiiml tliat it did 
ri(rt I'xct'wl tliat of fiirtj-'tive years, and the <ligeaBes to which tliey 
nris itumtiy Hiibj(H-t art; thoiiu of the fbt«t ; showing eom-iii lively 
tldW 1'HiH.iitial light and air are to animal, as M-ell a^ vegetable life. 
Witli a ni^ti and a shudder we step aside to allow another set fif 
IntKirem to paws. lluTw they t^ome; np and np. from almost in- 
tuntihmblo d('[)tlis, i-nch one as he ])a68eB panting, putting, and 
wllflozing, like a hi;;li |<re»hnR' steamboat, as with straining ner\'e 

1 quivering muscle he etaggera undpr the load, which nearly 
eiids him double. These are the tenateros, carrj'ing the ore from 
e mine to deposit it in the cars; and, like the ininors, they are hur- 
ined with no superfluous clothing. A shirt and trowsers, or the 
ftPOWBerfl without a shirt, a pair of leathern sandals fastened at the 
ankle, with a felt cap, or the crown of an old liat, completes their 

" The ore is placed in a flat leather hag (ialego) with a baud two 

I wide that passes around the forehead, tlte weight resting 

; the shoulders and spine. Two hundred pounds of rough 

! are thus borne up, flight after flight, of perpendicular steps ; 


now winding through deep caverns, or threading the most tortu- 
ous passages ; again ascending over earth and loose stones, and 
up places that have not even an apology for steps, all the while 
lost in Cimnierian darkness, but for a torch borne aloft, which 
flings its sickly rays over the dismal abysm, showing that one un- 
wary step would plunge him beyond any j)088ibility of human aid 
or succor. Not always, however, do they ascend; they some- 
times come from above ; yet we should judge the toil and danger 
to be nearly as great in one case as in the other. Thirty trips wiU 
these men make in one day, from the lowest deptlis. 

" For once we were disposed to quarrel with the long, loose skirts, 
that not only imi)eded our progress, but prevented our attempt to 
ascend to the summit, and enjoy from thence a pros])ect of great 
beauty and extent. But one woman, we believe, has ever accom- 
plished this feat, which severely tasks the strength of manhood. 

"We will now follow tlietenateroSj as they load the car with the 
contents of their sacks, and nm after it into the open air. There 
they go, with shouts of laughter ; and really, as one emerges into 
the wann sunshine, the change is most inspiriting. Tliey have 
reached the end of the track, and throw off the great lumps of ore 
without an effort, as if they were mere cabbages. What capacious 
chests, and how gaily they work ! Such gleeful activity we never 
before beheld. Tlie large lumps deposited, they now seize shovels, 
and jumping on the cars, the small lumps mixed with earth are 
cleared off with the most astonishing celerity. Do but behold 
that fellow of Doric build, with brawny muscles, and who is a 
perfect yiw? simile of Hercules, as he stood engraved with his club, 
as we remember him in Bell or Tooke's Pantheon ! 

"Tlie ore deposited on the jmtio^ another set of laborers engage 
in separating the large lumps and reducing them to the size of 
common paving stones, which are placed by themselves. Tlie 
smaller i)ieces are put in a separate pile, while the earth {tierra) is 
sifted through coarse sieves for the i)urpose of being made into 
adobes. Tliere is also a blacksmith's shop for making and repair- 
ing implements. Tlie miner is not paid by the day, but receives 
pay for the ore lie extracts. Tliey usually work in parties of from 



two to ten ; half the iiuiiilter work during the day, the other half 
by night, and in this manner serve as checks upon each otlier. 
Should a drone get into the numlivr, complaint is made to the 
engineer, who liaa to aettle sneh tuatters, which he generally dues 
by placing liini with a set nearer liis capacity, or sometimes hy a 
dificliarge. Tlic pricie of tlie ore is settled by agreement for each 
week. Should the passage he more than commonly lahorions, 
they do not earn much ; or if, on the contrary-, it proves to be easy 
and of great richness, the gain is theirs ; it being not infrequent 
for them to make from thirty to forty dotlar» a week a-piece, and 
seldom less than fifteen. In those jmrts of the mine where tlie 
ore is worthless, but still has to be extracted in order to reach 
that wliich will pay. or to promote ventilation, tliey are paid by 
the square vara,* at a stipulated price. Tliey do nothing with 
getting t}ie ore to the jfatio ; this is done by the tenateros at the 
company's expense, as is also the separating, sifting, and weighing. 
Each party have their ore kept separate ; it is weighed twice a 
week and an account taken. Tliey select one of their party who 
. receives the jiay and divides it among his fellows. 

" The fcna/t/wi receive three dollars per diem; the sifters and 
weighers, two dollars and a half; blacksmiths and bricklayers, 
^ five and six ; wliile carpenters are paid the city price of eight 
f dnllars a day. These wages seem to be very just and liberal, yet, 
I CQch is their improvidence, that no matter huw much they e«ni, 
E the miners are not one peso better olF at the end of tlie month 
I than they were at its beginning. No provision being made for 
■BcknesB or age, when that time comes, as come it will, there is 
v&otliing for them to do but, like some worn-out old chatter, lie 
lown and die. This has reference exclusively to the Mexicans; 
•od it is a pity that a Savings Bank could not be established, and 
made popular among them. Tliey number between two and 
three hundred in all; but they are, perhaps, the most impractic- 
able people in the world, going on as their fathers did before tliem, 
lily believing in the axiom, that ' sufficient unto the day is the 
^jtvil thereof.'" 

14i* ik333I^ 

dzf-imzmciij. "fLjn- TLhtt lu^ z^meai AystA hj an injimrtion from 
ritr Fiir:>c Sikni^ l-iazr: sii^ie- lie 4S>t<- -w** vritten. and mn ei- 

!• tLr lifciDr i-f \ LfrTrl-r •j-T'cCfcC c'=>i"is£:'«"er mine, sitiimfed in a 
Jj»eA.Titif:Ll kij-i r-nAi^tif valLrj -i^l G^a^ialiipe Cwek. at the ex- 

tre^-e T-smrf^T^ j»>h:: ->f ti*e sazikr ranst c^f iiUls as tliat of New 
AlzLj^*:^!, ar.'i fcV -mT f->3r arri a La2f imJrts. frotn it. Tbis mine 
wa?- d:wr'T*-7v*5 Ll 1>47. l»::i was- i^< a:7cfn(*fed to be woi^ed 
tiil !*.>*. TrLrr^i a ^'iLLidkiiT was f-.-jraed and i«perationfi oom- 
in*fix^r*A : bcu •-•winir t« • tLe Ligii pri* <-f lal-* and supplies, and 
tJi^ c'^TfjpiLiiT ruiiiii^: ?b«:«n of fond^. ai^er a few months, were 
^uiqMfti^*^ III 1 >4^5. a litrw o:«mfianT wa;^ K>rmed and incorporated 
hv cJiarter. fri>m tL*r iv^ri^larare- •»f Maixland. nnder the title of 
the - Sauta ClAra Milliner Ase<.ii^-iati«»n, <4 Baltimore," with a suffi- 
C'i^^it working eajotal to open the mine, erect the necessarr 
ktutAufiir works, and earn* tbtrm on. 

•• V<riij- of quicksilver.*' writes a friend. *• were long since known 
V} ttxUx in tlic-!^.- hills, but, owing to the difficulty of finding 
huffj''i<rnt qnantititf.'s of ore to render mining remunerative, nothing 
of iifijwirtaijc*.- wa- attenipte*!. In Xovtrml»er. ISoS, Mr. Laurencel 
<rriipIoy<:d a j»arty of Irish and Mexican miners to prosj^ect it 
niorc thoroughly, and s*.'veral places were found to be of good 
promiM:;. and ojH^'ne^l. ^>ne was called the Pn»videntia Mine, 
anoth^'r wan i^la^.'^.-^l under the pnjtection of Saint Patrick, and at 
h'n^h, in January, 1>>51^. the present Henriquita mine was found 
and inmKj^liatcly o|>ene<l. During the winter and spring quite 
a limited number r>f men carried on the work, but the labors of 
thcM* few were huffi(;ient to prove that there existed a large de- 
jKitiit. In the beginning of June the work was advanced upon 
a larger wale, and preparations Mere made to put up the proper 
mjw'hinery for reducing the ore. Every thing was done with di^ 
patch, and on the ¥^\H}i where stood a forest in June, we saw now 
an eHtablihliment so far advanced as to promise to go into opera- 


griCKfllLVER UlXEg. 


tion, producing quicksilver, early ill September ; ginxl j-rool' nf 
the energy and aotivity of our Calitbniia miners. 

"The ByBlem adopted for tlie reduetion of ores is, T under- 
stand, the same that waa employed by Dr. Ure, many years 
^ince, at the mines of Ohermosehel, in the Bavarian liliein 
Krets, and whieli lias proved to be mueh anptsrior to the systeiiife 
in practice at the Almaden mine iu Spain, and the Idriu mine of 

"Wliat the prodnetion of this mine wilt be, is impossible to 
foresee; but quite a little mountain of ore, already taken out. 
and what we saw in our descent into the mine, looks well for tJie 
future prospect, A large nuniljcr of Mexican miners were at 
work, and as we ^mssed their different parties, I broke from the 
rocky walls a number of jtieces, which, on coining to the light of 
day, proved to be rich ore- 

"Tlie location of tlie llenritputa mine is one of considerable 
beauty. A picturesque valley below, with the winding stream 
of tlie Capitancillos, and pleasant groves of oaks and sycamores- 
looks up on one hand to the hill where the mine is perehetl, 
Bonie three hundred and forty or fifty feet above, and on the othui' 
to the nigged mountain, rising to tlie height of between three and 
four thousand feel. The mine employs about one hundred 
laborers of all classes ; the families added would make a total 
population already of about four hundred persons. A little 
village has s[ining up near the works, containing many neat 
cottages, a hotel, and several stores. Two lines of stages nui 
daily between the mine and the city of San Jose, 

" While here 1 visited also anotlier spot of considerable Interest 
- — H gigantic oak, standing upon a prominent spur of the monn- 
tains on the south. It measures some thirty-six feet in clrciuii' 
ference, and is, I doubt not, the largest of its family in California. 
From its commanding jioBition and size, it is visible at a grcal 
distance, still towering high, when all the trees around it are 
<4warfed into the appearance of mere nnderbnisb. 

"In leaving the Ilenriquita mine, I was moretlian ever reminded 

tlie immense mineral resources of our State, and of the industry 

170 KSSB a cAUroasiA. 

ct oar people. Tlie worka of jmm in oldn* coonme^, were here 
die labor of a few short months oolj. 

"Hie comntT of Santa Clara vill find in this mine a neir eoarve 
of wealth, and mnst rejoice at the diligent pn>6ectition of an enter- 
prise so important. A^ an old miner, I was gratified at what I 
saw. What the Calilomia niin»T needs is cheap qnick&ilver ; btit, 
as long as its sopplr \s Uniiteil. it ijt kept np at exorbitant prices. 
With an increaj«d prodaition and a healthy competition, we may 
expe*-! Pixm to see it at such a price as will render it hereafter a 
small item only in the working of the quartz mines, eo important 
a aomve of wealth and pn)q>erity to California. 


"The interesting dedicatory ceremonial of Blessing the Mine Si 
custom of long standing in many Catholic countries where nuning 
18 carried on, especially among those people who speak the Spauisli 
language. Without it, workmen would feel a religious droad, 
consequently a timid relnctancu to enter upon their daily 
lest sfime accidental mishap sliould overtake them from 
omission. After this has bct-n duly performed, great care is 
to erect a shrine, be it ever so rude, at some convenient point 
wttliin the mine, to some favorite tutelar)' saint or protectress, 
whose benediction they evoke. Before this slirine, each workman 
devoutly kneels, crosses liiniself, and repeats his Ave Mana, or 
Pateni<«ter, prior to entering upon the duties and engagements 
of the day. At this spot, candles arc kept burning, both by day 
and night, and the plaue is one of sacred awe to all good Catholics. 
Tlio blessing and dedication of a mine is. consetjtieiitly, an era of 
imp(jrtaiice, and one not to be lightly passed over, or indifferently 

" On the morning of the day set apart for this ceremony, at the 
Honriqiiita or San Antonio quicksilver mine, the Mexican and 
Chilian scflors and sefloras began to flock into the little village at 
the fiHit of the cafloii, from all the surrounding country, in antici- 
pation of a genera! holiday, at an early hour. 

" Of course, at such a time, the proprietor sends out invitath 

1 antici- I 





to those giiesta lie is particularly desirous fihouid be present to do 
honor to the event; but no such form ia needed among the 
workmen and their friends or acquaintances, as they nnderatand 
that the ceremony itself is a general invitation to all, and tliey 
avail themselves of it accordingly. 

"Arriving in procession at the entrance to the mine, Father 
Goetz, the Catholic curate of San Jose, performi«l mass, and 


formally hlessod the mine, and all persons present, and all tliose 
who might work in it; during which service a band of musit'iana 
was playing a nnmber of airs. At the close, fire-crackere and the 
boom of a gim cut in the ground, aimounced tlie oonclnsiun of tht; 
ceremony on the outside ; when they all repaired to the inside, 
where the Father proceeded to sprinkle holy water, and to bless it. 
"These duly perfonned, they repaired to the village, near which 
18 the beautiful residence of Mr. L-anrencel, its [jroprietor, wliere. 
1 lovely grove of sycamores, several tables were crecte<l and 
bounteously covered with gi>od things for tlie inner man. Here 
s feasted nearly two hundred guests, of both sexes, with choice 


viands, in magnificent profusion, while native wines, and other 
light potables, flowed in abundance. A large number of specially 
invited guests were at the same time hospitably and courteously 
entertained within tlie house by Mr. Laurencel, his lady, and her 
household. After dinner, there was music and dancing upon tlie 
green, exhibitions of skilful horsemanship, and a variety of amuse- 
ments, which were participated in by the assembled company 
with the utmost zest, and were kept up, we understand, until a 
lat« hour. Tlie day chosen for this festival was the day of San 
Antonio, the patron saint of the mine, and the birthday of the 
little Henriquita, Mr. Laurencel's daughter, the more immediate 
patroness of the same." 




Is located at the head of the Sacramento Vallev, in latitude 

tl" 30', and is the lauiii source of the Sacramento River. WitJiont 

' doubt, it is tba higheet mountain in California, estimated hy 

Lieutenant Williamson at eigliteeu thousand feet above theseu; 

and i» considert:d by him to be an isolated volcanic mass, that is 

the starting point of numerous chains of mountains ; and, consL- 

I qnently, does not belong either to the main Sierra Nevada or Coast 


Covered with snow at all seasons of the year — the only one in 
[' the State that can be so considered — it is one of those gloriuuH und 


awe-inspiring BceneB which greet the traveller'a eye, and fill Lis 
mind with wondering admiration, as he journeys among the bold 
and beautiful niountaina of our own Catifoniia, One almost 
wishes to kneel in worship as ho gazes at the magiiifieunt, snow- 
covered head and pine-girded base of this " monarch of raonn- 
tttins;" and even as you aseend the valley of the Sacramento, 
Mount Shasta appears to you like a huge mountain of snow just 
beyond the purple liills of the horizon; and is a constant land- 
mark upon which to look, and which one unconsciously feels him- 
self constrained to notice, as something even more remarkable 
and inviting than the green and flower-covered valley beside him. 


As we are favored with the following graphic sketirh of an accent 
— alone — by Israel S. Diehl, we shall allow him, witliout comment, 
to relate his interesting narrative : 

"The morning of the ninth of October, 1855, opened beautifiil 
and bright ; the earth had been cooled by refi-eshing eliowerB 
which had copiously fallen during the night, as I took up my line 
of marcli from Yreka to Mount Shasta, to make its ascent, if pos- 
sible. Notwithstanding the extensive arrangements by way of 
talk and prowisi'S, that were made by the company contemplating 
the same visit (alas! for California pleasure parties), wlieu the 
eventful day came, I was reluctantly compelled to start, on my 
journey alone, dependent up(tn circnmstanees for the 8tx.-ial pleas- 
ures that add so much to such a romantic trip. No equipped 
and noted travellers, officers, literati, or blooming lively belles, 
whoso merry, joyful laugh and bright countenances could add so 
much of interest, were my attendants; and thus 'solitary and 
alone,' and somewhat fearful because of the stujTendous and un- 
known undertaking, by any nngl^ traveller, I slowly, yet deter- 
minedly, set out npon my journey. 

" From the western side uf Shasta Valley, Mount Shasta was in 
full view before me, in all its beauty and glory, as it reared its 
majestic head some seventeen thoiisand feet into the heavens, 
while its sides were covered with tlie deep-driven snow of ages. 


I cul 

Mount 8ila.8ta. 176 

kddiug so mucli antiquity to the inspiring awe, as if to say, 'I am 
lie uiiglity iiinnarcli and ueiitinel of tliis western eoant,' and 

Qiist steadily did luy iinweary, wondering eyes gaze admiringly 
tiio scene before uie— hundreds of peaked little hilloc-ks 
wotted the Shaata Valley fur twenty-five miles around, like so 

lany attendants (evidently all lesser volcanln fonnatious), while 

le Shasta River, and othur smaller streams, clear as crystal, and 

f cold, sprang from its side. 

" For a day and a half did I ride steadily on and around it, lo 
make its aseent; all the time with t]]e moimtain in full view, and 
apparently but a little way off, deceiving even the best eye on cal- 

For two nights, ere my ascent, did I watch the setting snn, 

ith its purple raya lingering and playing for twenty or thirty 
ininutes around its brow, when, to all other mountains, the sun 
had set. That ecene was beautiful beyond descripfimi, 

" By the noon of the second day, I bad rounded the Mnnnt tii 
its south aide, and fM my weary horse and self at tlie beautiful 
Strawberry Valley Ranche, or Gordon's, after which, with indefinite 
and unsatisfactory directions, I hade adieu to every hope of seeing 
anotber person ere my fate became decided. Fearful accounts 
and warnings were given of grizzlies, California lions, avalanches, 
falling rocks and stones, with deep eaflon crevices, by and in 
which I might perish, and have no burial or resurrection until the 
'Resurrection Mom ;' but, unwilling to give up, and trusting in 
God, with a good horse, and a bag of jirovisions, I comraenciil 
the as(^!ent. 

" For twelve or fifteen miles, I followed a blind snow trail thmu^li 
bushes of manzanita, and other obst.acles, which almost threw nie 
from my horse; and would surely have torn my garments had 1 
not l>cen equipped with a good new suit of buckskin. After an 
arduous journey, I reached the upper edge of the belt of trees, and 
of the horse trail, but not until the s\m had set. Night came on, 

idcring it too dark to find water for myself and animal until t*^n 
ock at night. 
After much difficulty, a fire was kindled, (as the lust matches 


i^ertt LcinfT iisedj to keep off tlie grizzlies ami t 

f trees aad tlie aini)Uiit of dead i 

nmately, frmti tho s 


city of t 

; sroiiitil, I net fire to all alioiit l 

Tliifi drove me out, toid 

excluded ine altogether : 80, niakiiig a slieltL-r of my saddle and 
nioeliila, Olid wrapping niyeolf in my saddle-blanket, I crept nn- 
demeatli tlieni, covering my head and feet, saying, "Mr. Grizzly, 
yon iiiiist take saddle and all, or none." Between shi%-ering 
with cold, dozing, fearing, and dreaming, I awoke, and awaited 
tlie dawn of day. At last it came — gladly to me — when, after 
fee<]ing my horse and bidding him adieu, I cuinmeuced tlic as- 

•*0n tlie east side of the west spur, and the south side of the 
momitain, there were vast qnajitities of elink and volcanic stones, 
and for four weary hours I never set my foot off hrokeii stone, 
but up, up, uji, over rocks and stones, till I reai^hed the base of an 
almost perpendicular ledge of rocks, the so-called Red Bluffs, 
wliifli I found to be indurated clay, colored by the i>eroxyd of 
iron. Tliroiigh a little ravine I struggled on, on, climbing for one 
more painful hour, while large masses of rock, becoming li^osened, 
went bounding to the awi'ul abyss below. 

"After reaching what I thought the desired summit, imagine 
my suqjrise to look over fields of lava, scoria, snow, and fearful 
glaciers. I niiw liad to cross ravines or flasures, from fifty to ' 
one hundred feet deeji, and from one hundred to three hundred 
feet wide, and worn through a solid mass of conglomerates, and 
sometimes half filled with snow and ice, the ice lymg in perfect 
ridges, resembling the waves on the ocean, and were both sharp and 
dangerous to cross. I slipped and fell several times, once coming 
Tiear being dashed thousands of feet below. j\iter ascending for 
another liour, anifmg this strangely mingled mass, hojiing again 
to have reatjhed tho long desired summit, I was botli disappointed 
and pleased to see tlie table-land of snow frfJin one-fourth to one- 
half mile in diameter, where it lay from one himdred to probably 
one thousand and more feet deep, as I could look down into fis- 
sures where it liad sagged apart, for a fearful depth, and from this 
field, a few hundred feet from the sunimit, the Sacramento River 

■tskes its rise ; niuniiig througli llic deep gorges, ^onietuues on top, 
tiion hidden, then apjK'Rring at the siiimnit of hills, then concoaled 
for iiiiles, it hreaks fortli in niagniliceiit eprioga and niiniaturc 
rivers, with sulphur aiid eoda epriiiga intermixed. 

"After crossing the field of k-e witli great difficulty, on account 
of the sun melting the enow from the east and soutli, while the 
wind and cold froze it from the west and north, thus rendering it 
dangerous, I reached another perfect mountain of loose and coarse 
lava, ashes, and other volcanic matter, through which I wftded, 
although a foot in depth, for some distance; and as I ascended, I 
caught a full and first view of the actual simimit, which I imagine 
IS not seen from helow, as it is a perfectly bare crag or comb of 
rocks, while the sides and top around are ho covered as to hide the 
real summit. Across another field of suow, and I was evidentlj- 
upon tile original and main erater, a concavity covering several 
acres, almost henuned in by a considerable rim of rocks, and here I 
came upon the long sought hot and sulphur springs; and here, 
free from wind and snow, finding it wann and comfortable after 
being nearly l>enumbed with cold, I wanned, and took a hasty 
meal ; and in my haste to wanii my fingers, nearly lost them by 
awfully scalding them. 

" I s|)ent nearly an hour here, contemplating and watching this 
wonderful view. A hundred little boiling springs were gurgling 
and bubbling up through a bed of sulphur, and emitting steam 
enough to drive a small factory (if well apjilied), while all arouud 
lay the everlasting snow. 

"After resting, I made the final summit, a few hundred feet 
above, composed of a perfect edge or comb of rocks, nmning 
nearly north and sonth, and from this summit, perhaps the 
higliest, variously cstinmted at from sixteen thousand five hun- 
dred, to seventeen thousand five hundred feet, and decidedly the 
most magnificent of our Union, if not of the continent, I cotdd 
mk around and see ' all the kingdoms of this lower world,' [Did 

1 tempt any one, Mr. Diehl?] 

"Looking to the westward, far beyond the Scott, Trinity, Siski- 

tn, and Coast Ilaiige of mountains, I imagineil I saw the proud 



Pacific, Northward, looking far over into Oregiin, one eoultl Btx 
her peaks, her valliee, and lakes, to the Dalies, and what I tt>ok to 
be Mount Hood. East, far over the Sierras into Utah, and the 
deserts, wliila lieautifiil lakes lay like bright meadows, far in the 
distance. South, I could trace the Sacramento and Pitt Ilivere, 
far below Shasta, where they were lost in the smoke and haKi*, but 
on the south-west I could clearly see Mount Linn, Mount St. John, 
and Ripley, and above the baze, could distinctly see llie Marys- 
ville Buttes, if not the top of Moimt Diablo (as I have clearly eeen 
Moimt Sliasta from the suuunit of Mount Diablo). South-east, I 
could trail the Sierras by the Lassen, Spanish, Pilot, Seveuty-aix, 
Downieville, and other peaks, to the range below Lake Bigler, or 
to Carson Valley, 

" I contemjdated the imsurpafised scenery presented to my eye, 
for hours. The day was clear and beautiful, after our first October 
rains, wliile the scenery was delightful beyond deficription. And 
upon that peak I planted tlie temperance haiuier, side by ude 
with the American flag (placed there in 1852, by Captain Prince), 
deposited some California papers and documents in the rocka, for 
safe keeping, as tlia papers carried up in 1852 were unliarmed, 
aiid freeli aB ever. Then, with a great reluctance, notwithstanding 
the wind, cold, loneliness, and coming niglit, I was compelled to 
beat a descent. 

" TliB sun was fast declining. My watch told tliree p. «., when 
I collected my minerals, sulphurs, and all objects of interest, for a 
future and fuller description, and bidding adieu to the magnificent 
sights, with a promise of a return some day, I commenced the 
descent, and in tliree hours' running, jumping, tumbling, sliding 
on the snow, from one-fourth to one-half a mile at a time, in a few 
moments — having a glorious time, easier by far, and fuller of enjoy- 
ment than the ascent — I found my horse, mounted, and hastened 
Rwav ; and alter a concatenation of circumstances, lost and bewil- 
dered, at twelve at night, dismounted, unsaddled and loosed my 
horse ; weary and exiiaustedt natiire gave way, sleep cont[uered, 
and until dawn nf day, I knew no trouble save the piercing cold, 
and woke to find my tnisty horse missing, giving me a half dfty*s 



hunt to recapture him, when, by perils by river, land, and Indians, 
I followed the Sacramento down one hundred miles to Shasta, to 
spend the Sabbath, after six days' labor — much better and hap- 
pier for my ascent of Mount Shasta." 




TuiH in tlio TiKiiif of a Biiiftll frroiip of rotky inlands, lying in s 

Pat'ifii! Oireaii, aljoiit twentj-ecveii mik's west of the Golden Gate, 
aiid thirty-five miles froin San Francisco. Tliese islands have 
become of some iin]>nrtuii<!e, and of coneidemble intereet, on 
account of the vast (|iiftntity of egga tliat are there annually 
gathered, for the California market ; these eggs having become 



an almost indispensable article of spring and summer conBiiuiptioii, 
to many persons. 

By the etiurtesy of the Farallone Egg Company, through their 
President, Captain Richardson, the schooner Louise, Captain 
Harlow, was placed at onr service, for the pui-pose of vieiting 
them ; and, in company with a small party of friends, we were 
soon upon the deep green brine, ploughing our way to the " Islts 
of the Ocean." 

Bright and beautiful slept the morning, as a light breeze, 
blowing gently from the mountains, filled our sails, and sjied us oii 
our way through 


There are probably but few persons, comparatively, who have 
ever passed tlirough this entrance to the fine Bay of San Francisco, 
that are familiar with the origin and meaning of the name, the 
popular idea being tliat its name was suggested by the staple 
mineral of the country— gold. Tlits is incorrect, as it was called 
"Thy Golden Gate" before the precious metal was discovered; 
aod the first time that it was used, must probably, was in a work 
entitled "A Geographical Review of California," with a relative 
map, published In New York, in the month of February, 1848, by 
Colonel J, C. Fremont ; and as gold was discovered on the 10th 
of January preceding, in those days it would have been next to 
impossible for the news to have reached the office of publication 
of that work, in time fur the name to be given, from such a cause. 

The real origin of the name was from the cvcessively fertile 
lands of the interior — especially of those adjacent to the Bay of 
San Francisco. Tliere may have been some " Spiritual Telegrams" 
Bent from California (!) to the parent of the name, telling him of 
the glorious dawn of a Golden Day that had broke upon the world 
at Sutter's Mill, Coloma, and that such a name would be the 
magic charm to millions of men and women in every quarter of 
the world, in the Golden Age abont to he inaugurated. We do 
not say that it was so. We do not wish the reader to believe it, 
M our opinion, that it was thus originated ; but in this age of 




siiiritiml darkneee — ^we allude to the limited knowledge of mental 
plienonicna — we Btart the snppoeitioii, in hope that it may stir np 
the Bpirit of inquiry. Tliia one thing is certain, that i'rum 
whatever source the name "Golden Gate" may have oripinnted, 
it was most happily snggestive in its character. Having dwelt at 
somo length npou tho name, we will now more briefly describe 
the B}x>t. 

Tliat it is the gateway or enti-ance to the magnificent harbor of 
San Francisco, every one is well aware. The centre of this 
entrance is in longitude 122° 30' W. from Greenwich. On the 
Bontli of the entrance, ia Point Lobos (Wolves' Point), oh the top 
of which is a telegraph statifsn, from whence ibe tidings c)f the 
arrival of steamers and sailing vessels are sent to the city. On 
the north side, is Point Bonita (Beautiful Point), readily recognized 
by a strip of land running out toward tho bar, on the top of 
which is a light-honso, that is seen far out to sea, on a clear day, 



but seldom before tliat oii the FaraUoiie lalande, some tweuty-ueven 
miles west of Point Bonita. 

In front of the entrance is a low, circular sand-bar, almost seven 
miles Id length, but on wLii^li is sufficient water, even at low tide, 
to admit of the largest class of ships crossing it in safety — except, 
possibly, when the wind is blowing from the nortli-west, west, or 
soutli-eaet ; at such a time, it is scarcely safe for a very large 
vessel to cross it at low tide. 

From Point Bonita to Point Lobos, the distance is about three 
and a half mQes ; and between Fort Poiut and Lime Point (just 
I opposite each other), the narrowest part of the channel, and " Tlie 
Golden Gate" proper, it is one thousand seven himdred and 
seventy-seven yards. Here the tide ebbs and flows at the rate of 
about six knots an hour. 


To the dwellers of a seaport city, there is music in the ever 
restless waves, as they murmur and break upon the shore ; but to 
■ail upon the broad, heaving bosom of the ocean, gives an impres- 
sion of profoundness and majesty, that, by contrast, becomes a 
Bonrce of peaceful pleasure ; as change becomes rest to the weary. 
Tliere is a vaatness. around, above, beneath you, as wave after 
■wave, and swell after swell, lifts your tiny vessel upon its seething 
fturface, as though it were a feather— a floating atom upon the 
broad expanse of waters. Then, to look into its shadowy depth, 
and feel the sublime language of the Psalniiet: 'O Lord, how 
manifold arc thy works! in wisdom hast Tlion made them all : the 
li is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein 
things creeping iu numerable, both small and great beasts, 
ese wait all u}>on Thee : that Thou mayest give them their meat 
due season. TIiou openest thy hand, they are tilleil with gotxl. 
lou hidcst thy face, they are troubled." "Tliey that go down 
the sea in ships, that do business in great waters : these see the 
Irorks of the I^ird, and his wonders in the deop. He commandeth, 
id raiseth the stormy wind, which lift«th up the waves thereof, 
maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." 


" Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, fur his 
wonderful worka to the cliiidren of men ! " 

Object after object became distant and less, as we left them far, 
far behind ub. 

" Yonder blows a whale ! " criea one. 


"Just off our larboard bow." 

"Oh! I see it— but" 

" But ! what's tlie matter i " 

" Oil ! I feel so sea-Biek." 

"Well, never mind that; look up, and don't thhik about it." 

"Ob- — I can't. — I must"- 

Reader, were you ever sea-sick ! If your experience enables 
yim To answer in the affirmative, you will ftympathizo somewhat 
with the ]wor Bubjet-t of it. Yonder may be lliis beauty, and that 

wonder, but a "dnn't-carewAra«»8" comes over yo 
remarkable scenes in creation were just before yoi 

and if all the 
■' I don't care" 



18 written upon tlie face, ns you besewliingly seem to say; ^'•Pray 
don't trouble ni« — my hands are fulV Whales, sea-gulls, por- 
poises, and even the white, foamy spray, that is curling over 
Duxliury Reef, are alike unheedeiJ, 

"How are you now)" kindly nskt* our good-natured cuptiiiii. 
of the one and the other. 

" Ah I thank you ; I ani better." 

" Here, take a cup of nice hot coffee." 

" No ; I thank you." 

The mere mention of any thing to eat or drink is only the sifinal 
for a renewal of the sickness. 

" Thank goodness ! I feel better," says one, after a long sfiell 
(if sickness and t{uit;t. 

" So do I," says another ; and, just as the " Farallunes" are in 
sight, fortunately, all are better. 

Now tlie air is literally filled witli birds — birds floating above ns, 
and birds all around us, like bees that are swarming, we thought 


the whole group of islands must have been deserted, and that 
they had poured down in myriads, on purpose to intercept our 
landing, or "bluff ns off;" hut, as the dark, weatheMieaten fur- 
rows, and the wave-washed t-liasnis, and the wind-swept maseeB 
of rock, rose more defined and distinct before us as we approat-hed, 
we concluded that they must have ahandoned the nndertaking — 
for upon every peak sat a bird, and in every hollow a thousand ; 
but, looking around us again, the number, apparently, had in- 
creased rather than diminished, and the more there seemed to he 
upon tJie islands the greater the increase round about us — eo that 
we concluded mtr fears to be entirely unfounded. 

The anchor is dropped in a mass of floating foam, on the south- 
east and sheltered side of the islands, and in a small boat we reach 
the shore, thankful, after this short viiyage, to feel uur feet stand- 
ing firmly on terra firma. 


Looking at the wonders on every side, we were astonished tli«t 
we had heard so little about them, and tliat a group of islanda 
like thesii should lie within a few hours' sail of San Francisco, yet 
not be tlie resort of nearly every seeker of pleasure, and every 
lover of the wouderfiil. 

It 18 like one vast menagerie. Upon the rocks adjacent to the 
sea repose in easy indifference, thonsands — ^yee, thousands — of «mi 
lum» (one species of the seal), that weigh from tvx> tojvoe thmmand 
pounds each. As these made the loudest noise, and to us were 
the most curious, we paid them the first visit, "Wlien we were 
within a few yards of them the majority took to the water, while 
two or three of tiie oldest and largest remained upon the rock, 
"standing guard" over the young calves, that were either at play 
with each other, or asleep at tlieir aide. As wc advanced, thesu 
masses of "blubber" moved slowly and clumsily toward us, with 
their moutlis open, and showing two large tusks that were stand- 
ing out from their lower jaw, by which they gave us to under- 
stand that we had better not disturb the repose of the juvenile 
" lioDB," nor approach too near, or we might receive more harm 



than we expected or wished. But the moment we threw at them 
a 8tone, they would gcamper offjaud leave the young lions to the 
mercy of their enemies. We advanced and took hold of one, to 
try if the siglit of their young being taken away would tempt tlieni 

jorae to the rest-ue ; hut, altliough l^iey roared ami kept ewim- 

I Tping I'losc to the rock, they evidently tliought their own SBtV'ty of 

I most importance. One okl warrior, whose head and front 

I Iwre scars of many a Jiard-fought battle — for they tiglit fearfully 

tmong thcraselves — could not he driven from the field, and neither 

rocks nor shouting moved hini iti the least, except to meet the 

I enemy, aa he doubtless considered us. 

All of these animals are very jealons of their particular rock, 
■wbercj in the sun, they take their aienta, and although we remained 
upon some of these spots for a considerable length of time, while 
' their usual tenants were swimming ui the sea, and perhaps had 


T\u-y kftL-ji lip an incessant sliort. moaning err, tliat sounds like 
1/oi ho&ij, yoi hoey, in abmit the same key as tbe bray of a mule, 

MoHt of tlicsc young seals are of a dark mouse color, but the old 
anvm arc »f a light and brightiuh brown about the liead, and grad- 
ually biworne darker toward the extremities, which are about the 
same color as the young calves. Most of the male and yonng fe- 
iiialo seals luavo thcBo islands during the months of October or 




November — and generally all go at once — returning in April or 
May the following spring, wliile the older teniales remain here 
nearly alone throughout tho winter — a rather uogallaat proceed- 
ing on tlie part of the nialus, 


Tliero are several diifereiit kinds of seal that pay a short visit 
here at dilferent seasons of the year, one of the moBt beautiful of 
is the hair seal of the Pacific {Phocojuiata). 

Tliis seal, with whieh the coast of California abounds, ia by no 

i means rare, as alnioat all the eoasta in high southern and northern 
latitudes abound with it. "To the Laplander, it is meat, drink, 
clothing, etc. To the Indians of Beliring'a Straits and Kamsclialka 
lit is most valuable; in fact, they eonid hardly exist without it. 
Far away in those inhospitable regions, where winter reigiia three- 
fourths of the year, no timber can be obtained sufficiently large 
to build a canoe ; but with a few seal-skins aTid a little whalc- 
Iwnc, the Indian will construct one of the most perfect life-boats 
in the world. In this he will fearlessly venture miles from land 
) catch fish and seals, aye, and oven the whale, Tlicso canoe« 
are difficult to manage to those who are unacquainted with them. 
It rofjuires no small degree of practice, even to the Kamschatkan, 
' in a rough sea, to keep such a boat alive. He is not allowed to 
I marry unless he have the ability of so inakiiig and guiding 
I them. Indeed, his canoe is all to him — his house, his clothes, hi 



blbofi — forwiduat it^Ius fehon^. pruUfic in fiah, wimld 

i benn die impress of grvkt sagxctty ; it& full, 
looad, beaatEfal eye m£eates even an inteJli^ence raretr to be 
faaaA in anr odm- tnfaabitkBt of ibe vaters. Thiii was remarked^ 
br tbe SBecMit hiatoruiL. Plinv. He give« an amn^ing acixHmt nf 
one that was atailj taa>rfit to perfonn c^rtuD tricks. It wdiiIiI 
galate ridtnn fredr, and wuubl atuwer to its name wlieti calk-d. 
F. Cnrier narrates of one that he saw that was maile to stand 
erect on ita tail, and hold a staff between its flippers like a scDt!- 
nel on dntr. It woaM tamhle heels over bead when desired, give 
a dipper to he shaken. umI preheat it$ lip< for its kee}>cr's kiss. 

** Captain Rosecll. the as^daous traveller and explorer of the e«a- 
hoard resonrt-es of California, informed us that it is moet aninsiiig 
fiometime^ to see their cuntests with the Cou^t Indiana Hiese 
felluwa frkulk liehind the rocks adjacent to some gtaitlv-sloiiing 
eaiid'banks, and when the shoal has become drr by the recediog 
tide, tiiey front the body and interpose their return to the water, 
each selecting as his prey the biggest and most powerful. Catch- 
ing hold of the tall-fli)>per, the animal scaflles along the sand, 
dra^ng along after him the Indian, whu, wilti k ti^ht ^rip, fi^l- 
lows, nntil, by ploughing a deep furrow with his feet, leaning 
back, and with all his strength resisting tlie powerful progress of 
the animal, until both come to a dead stand ; tliv animal's side- 
flippers arc then tied by anotlter party, and the ]Hx>r beast thus 
easily liecumes his prey. He often, he say*i, remonstrated lu vain 
against their barbarous cruelty of preparing them for fotxi. or for 
blubber. A huge fire is made in a large flat hole in the ground, 
and the poor beasts are hurled in and roasted alive. '*We havu 
iKi other way," said they, "of singeing or scorcTliing off the hnir. 
If thuy were put in dead, we should have to get in the fire oui'selves 
to tuni tlietii, but being alive, they spare us the trouble, and turn 
tlieiiiik:! vcsjwhen one sid« is singed suflieieutly." 

''Tlio whole tribe possesses remarkable peculiarities of respiration 
and circirliition of bhxHl. The internal betweon tfieir respirations 
i" very limg. A full-grown niiiinal can remain under water, with- 



oat requiring fi fresh inspiration, ior upwai'ds nf half an hour. Tliej- 
can open and rltise at pleasure, for these pnqxmes, their valvular iios- 
trila in a Burj)risinji degn.'e, eating tlieir food all the time underwater 
with perfect enjoyment. Their breathing is remarkably bIow, and 
very irregular. After ojKjning the nostrils and making a long ex- 
piration, the creature inhales air by a long inspiration, and just 
before diving, closes its nostrils as tight as any mechanical valve. 
In confinement, they liave been observed to remain asleep, with 
the head under water, for an hour at each time, without any fresh 
inhalation of air, Natiiralists account for this power by tlie ani- 
niaPg possessing a. great venous canal in its liver, which astiists it 
in diving, so that their respiration is somewhat independent of the 
circulation of the blood. 

"One of these animals was exhibited ifi Adams' Museum, San 
Francisco, and was in excellent condition, exceedingly tame, and 
very submissive to its deeper. It seemed to enjoy the music, 
appearing to listen to it with some pleasure. Tliis is not to be 
wondered at, as the hearing of this class of animals is very acute ; 
wid well attested instances are by no means rare, of many, even 
in a wild state, being attracted by the sound of a flute, or a horn; 
rising up to the surface tj) enjoy it the more, and sinking ininie- 

• diately the soimds are discontinued. The brain in the seal is very 
large, and its whiskers are coimected with nerves of inmieuse 
rizc, serving almost every purpose of sensation." 

The Russians formerly visited these islands, for the purpose of 
obtaining oil and skins, and several places can be yet seen where 
the skins were stretched and dried. 


The birds which arc lij' far the most numerous, and, on account 
of tlieir eggs, the most imiKirtant, are theJ^wrrc, or J^ooltsfi Guil- 
lemot, which are found here in myriads, surmounting everj- rocky 
^^^ peak, and occupying every small and partially level 6ix)t upon the 
^^Hbialands. Here it lays its egg, u^>on the bare rock, and never leaves 
^^Kjt, imless driven of}', until it is hatched ; the male taking its turn, 
^^^■ifit incubation, with tlio femalt — although the latter is most assid- 

amis. One reaMo wfar tbu nur be the cmc, pabspt^ U from die 
Act that the fvU U watcfaiog eTerr opportKnitr to eteal its egg 
Mu\ put it. Thff " vf^^en" say that vben tber are oo their war to 
any {«rt "f the mUim]. the gnlls call to each other, aod hover 
annifi'l nntil the mnrre U <]iHtiirl>»l bv them, and before tfaev can 
jjick lip the pfig, the gull sweeys down npon it. and carries it off 

Whrrri tiic ywinff are old enongfa to emigrate, the mnrres take 
tli'-m nwajr in the night, lest the gnlU should eat them ; and a« 
ROOD lu tli<! yiing ri'Oi^h the \rater, they swim at once. Some 
Idna may b« formed of the number of these birds, by the Faral- 
loiifl K({g (_^nnpany having, since 1850, brought to the Saa Fran- 
(ilwo imirlcft Ixitwm^ri tlin^s and fonr millions of eggs. 

On till* <!oa«t tUvw liirtis are nnmeroas. in certain localidos, &om 
ranniiin Ui tlio RnnHian p«>8»e)iBionB. On the Atlantic, they are 
fonnd from Ilimton to the eoaat of Labrador ; differing but very 
llttia in color, hIihim.', or uizv. 



It is a cliiiiifly liird, filmoHt lielplees on land, Init is at Lome on 
tlie eea, and Is an ex(;ellent swimmer and diver, and is very strong 
in the wings. Tlieir eggs are imaccoiintably large, for the size of 
the bird, and " afford exeellent food, being highly nutritive and 
palatable — whether boiled, roasted, poached, or in omelets." No 
two cggB are in color alike. 



Tlie liird of most varied ami beautiful pliunaye, un tlic Ulitiid:-, 
ia tlie Mormon Cirrhatus, or TufUd J'xtffi^n ; and, Bitliougli tliev 
are rather numeruus on this ooast, they are very scarce elsewhere. 

Ill addition to tlie murre, pvj^n, and ffid/-, already inontioned, 
there are p^iiji-ons, hawks^ shatj, coots, etc., which visit here 
dnrini^ the Bummer, hut, with the exception of the guU and 
ahag^ do not remain through the winter. 

Tlie homed-biU^ guiUem.oi has been seen and caught here, 
but it is exceedingly rare. 

Now, with the reader's permission, we will leave the Wrda and 
animals — at least if we call — and take a walk up to the lighthouse, 
at the top of the island, three hundred and fifty-seven feet above 
the sea. A good pathway lias been made, so that wn can ascend 
with ease. If you find that we liave not left the birds, nor the 
birds loft us, but that, at everj' step we take, we disturb some, and 
pass otliers, and that thousands are flying all an>und us, never 
mind — when we reach the top we shall forget them, at least for a 
few moments, to strain onr eyes in looking lowanl the horizon, 
and seeking to catcli a glimpse of some distant object. Yonder, 
some eiglit miles distant, arc the " North IVrallones," a very 
Bmali group of i-ncks, and not exceeding three acres in extent — 
but, like this, they are covered with birds. 

Now let UH enter the lightlionse. and, under the guidance of 
Mr. Wines, the superintendent, we shall find our time well spent 
in looking at the best lighthouse on the Pacific coast. Every tiling 
is bright and clean, its ma<-hinery in beautiful order, and working 
as regular in its movements as s chronometer. 

The wiTid blows fresh outside, and secretly you hope the li^t- 
house will not blow over before yon get out. Here, too, yon can 
see the shape of the island upon which you stand, mapped out 
upon the sea below. 

Let us descend, wend our way to tlie ""WpbI End," and pass 
through the living masses of birds, that stand, like regimenta of 
white-breasted miniature soldiers, on every Jiond — and it might 
be well to take the precautionary measure of closing our ears to 
the perpetnal roaring, and loud moaning of tlie sea liotu, for th»r 



noise is almost deafening. \ caravan of wild bea&ts is notliing, 
in noise, to tlniee. 

Let US he careful, too, in every step that we take, or we ehall 
place (jiir foot upon a nest of j^ning tfuUs, or break eggs by the 
dozen, for tliey are everywhere around iis. We soon reach the 
side of the " Jordan," as a small inlet is called, and acroHS which 
we can step at low tide, but wiiicli is thirty feet wide at high 
water. To cross it, however, a rope and pulley is your mode of 
conveyance; so hold tight by your hands, and you'll soon get 
^•oross. Safely over, let us make our way fur n glijnpsc of the 
[ Wat Bnd View, looking Eaui, 


V wild and Iieanliful scene. The sharp-pointe*! rocks 

Hire standing boldly out against the sky, and covered with birds 

md sea lions. A lieavy surf is rolling in, with thundering 

larseiiess, and as the wild waters break upon the shore, tbey 

jemble the low, booming sound of distant thnnder; while the 

white sprny cnrls over, and falls with a hissing splash upon the 

E-tocks, and then returns again to its native brine; while, swimming 



in tLe boiling sea, amid the foam and rocks, just peeriug above 
tlie water, are tlie heads of scores of sea lions. Let ns watch theui 
for a inomeut, Ilere comes one noble looking old fellow, who 
rises from the water, and workg hig way, elowly and clunisily, 
toward the young wliich lie high and drj-, sleeping in the sun, or 
are engaged lazily scratching themselves with their hind claws ; 
and, although we are very near them, they he quite unconcerned, 
and iiuiocent of dangei'. Kot so tlie old gentleman, who has jnst 
taken his position before ua, as sentry. Experience has doubtless 
taught him that such looking animals as we are behave no better 
than wc should do, and he knows it I 

Tliere are water- washed caves, and deep fissures between the 
rocks, just at our right; and in the distance is a large arch, not 
less than sixty feet in height, its top and sides completely covered 
with birds. Through the arch, you can see a ship, which is just 

Now let us go to the " Big Rookery," lying on the north-west 
side of the island. 

Tliis locality derives its name from the island here forming a 
hollow, well protected from the winds; and being less abrupt tlian 
other places, is on that account a favorite resort of myriads of 8ea 
fowl, who make this their place of abode, and where vast numbers 
of young are raised. If you walk among them, thousands im- 
mediately rise, and for a few moments darken the air, as though 
a heavy cloud had just crossed and obscured the sunlight npon 
your path. But few persons who have not seen them can realise 
the vast nmnbers that make this their home, and which are here, 
thera, and everywhere, flying, sitting, and even swimming, upon 
the boiling and white-topped surge among the seals. 

Here, as elsewhere, tliore are thousands of seals, some are suck- 
ling their calves, some are lazily sleeping in the sun, others are 
fishing, some are quarrelling, others are disputing possession, and 
yonder, just before us, two large and fierce old fellows arc engaged 
in direful combat with each other — now the long tusks of the one 
are moving upward to try to make an entrance beneath tlie jaw 
of the other — now they are below — now there is a scattering 



among the swii 

-> that ha 

urely lieen look in 

J gronp ti 
Bee the sport, for the largest hus just aome up among tiioin, and 
they are afraid of him. Now appears his antagonist, liis eyes 
rolling with maddened frenzy, tbey again meet— now under, now 
over — fierce wages the war, hard goes the battle, but at last the 
owner of the liead, already covered with scales, has eonqnered, 
«id his distiomlitted enemy makes hiH way to tlie nearest rock, and 
there lies panting and bleeding; but lie may not rest here, for tlie 
owner of that claim is at home and has possession, and without 
«ny sympathy for his suffering and unfortunate brother, he orders 
him off, although "only a squatter," and he again takes to the sea 
in search of other quarters. 

From this point we get an excellent view of the lighthouse, and 
the residence of the keepers. Everywhere there is beauty, wild- 
ness, sublimity. Let ua not linger too long here, although weeks 
could be profitably spent in looking at the wonders around us,_hut 
let us take a hasty glance at the Viewfiwn the North Larulimj. 



Here there is a fine estuary, where, with a little improvement, 
small schooners can enter at any season of the year, and where 
the oil and other supplies arc landed for the lighthouse. Like the 
other views, it is singular and wild — each eminence covered with 
birds, cacli sea-washed rock oecnpiedby seals, and the air almost 
darkened by the sea giills skimming backward and forward, like 
swallows, and by the rapid and apparently difficult flight of tlie 

From this point we can get an excellent view of the 2^«yrtk 
JParallfmes, that, in the dim and shadowy distance, are looming 
np their dull peaks just above the restless and swelling waves. 
From the sugar-loaf sliaped peak, and the singularly high arch, 
and bold, rugged outlines of tlie other rocks, this view has become 
a favorite one with the " eggers." 

Upon these islands, of three hundred and fifty acres, there is not 
a single tree or shrub to relieve the eye by contrast, or give 
change to the barrenness of the landscajjc. A few weeds and 
sprigs of wild mustard are the only signs of vegetable life to be 
seen upon them. To tliose who reside Iiure it must be monotonous 
and dull ; but to tliose who visit it, there is a variety of wild won- 
ders that amply repays them for their trouble. 

Some Italian fiBliermeu having supplied our cook with excellent 
fish, let us hasten aboard and make sail for Iiomc. 

Before saying "good-bye" to our kind entertainers, and again 
leaving them to the solitary loneliness of a " life near the sea," we 
will congratulate them upon their useful employment, and ask 
them to remember the comforting joy tliey must give to the tem- 
pest-tossed mariner, who sees, in the " light afar," the welcome 
sentinel, ever standing near the gate of entrance to the long 
wished and hoped-for port, where, for a time, in enjoyment and 
rest, he can recover from tlie hardships and forget the i>erils of 
the sea. 

On our left, and but a few yards from shore, is an isle called 
Seal Rock, where the sea lions have possession, and are 
waving tlieir lubberly bodies to and fro upon its very summit, and 
from whence the echoes of their low howling moans are heard 



across the sea, long after distance has hidden them from our 

After a pleasant run of five hours, without any sea-sickness, we 
are again walking the streets of San Francisco, abundantly satis- 
fied that our trip was exceedingly pleasant and instructive. 



tOtrr of a poptilation excoediTig seventy tlioiisand persons — tlie 
number estiinftted to be in San Francisco at the present time — it 


Bioirra abound ban frakoisco. 


large proportion, at cou^'enie^t seasons, will make a flying vieit 
tu localities of interest tliat can be easily and chea]>ly reaelii^, 
beyond the suburbs of the city. Of these, one of tbe most inter- 
esting and pleasant, is that from San Francisco by the Mission 
Di»loreB, to the Ocean House and Seal Kock, returning by Fort 
Point and the Presidio. L'lxjn this interesting jaunt, vr-i hope to 
have the pleasure of tlie reader's company; for it is almost always 
more agreeable to visit such scenes in good compamonsbip, than 
to go alone. 

As these places are visited by all classes of persons, whose 
means and tastes widely differ, it is not for ua to say whether it 
is better to go on horseback, or in a buggy ; by a public omnibus, 
or a private carriage ; or on that very primitive, somewhat inde- 
pendent, but not always the most popular conveyance, technically 
termed "going a-fool." Wo must confess, however, that innemuch 
as onr physical and mental organization are both capable of 
enduring a large amount of comfort, as well as pleasure, our pre- 
dilections decidedly incline to the former. Yet, to those who, to 
be suited, would choose even the latter, we can most con«'ien- 
tiously affirm that " we have no objection I" Tins point, then, 
being duly conceded, with the reader's consent, we will set out at 
once on our jaunt, each one by the conveyance that pleases him 

Let us thread our way among the numerous vehicles and foot- 
passengers that crowd the various thoroughfares of the city, to 
Tliird street, at which point we can take one of three routes to 
the Mission Dolores ; namely — by the Old Mission road. Folaora 
street, or Brannan street. Tiie Old Mission road, as Its name 
would indicate, was the first made road to that point; although 
in 18i9 and 1850, we had to thread our way among the low sand 
hills, and across little valleys, by a very circuitous and laborious 
route. In 1851, this road was surveyed, grade<l, and planked; 
but, as the planks wore rapidly away, it was found very expensive 
to keep it in repair. It has recently been macadamized nearly 
its entire length, and now is almost as good as tlie far-famed 
Shell road, between New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. 


It is difficult to give the ai-timl amount of travel on either of 
these roaiis, as much is regulated hy the state of the weatiier; vet 
the following will give an approximate estimate: — 

On the Old Mission road, an onmibus passes and repasses four- 
teen times daily, with from one to thirty pafisengers, and will 
average twelve, each way ; leaving the Plaza on the even hour, 
from seven o'cloek a. m., to eight o'cloc't p. m. The San Jos« 
stage, which leaves the Plaza at eight o'clock a. m-, passes oud 
repasses daily ; the Overland Mail stage, via Ix>s Angeles, starts 
from the Plaza every Monday and Friday, at noon, returning on 
the same day ; Dorlin's express runs twice a day to the Mission 
and h&ijk ; in addition to tliese, there are about five water carts, 
ten milk, twelve meat, eighteen bread, forty vegetable, and from 
twenty to thirty express, or parcel wagons, daily. On one day, we 
counted thirty-four horsemen, sixty-six double horse, and one hun- 
dred and seventy-seven single horse vehicles, such ns carriages, 
buggies, sulkies, etc., in addition to those above mentioned. 

On the Folsom street plank mad, an omnibus passes and 
repasses twelve times daily, witli an average of twelve pa* 
sengers each way, leaving the Plaza on the half hour, Tliere are 
nlsu forty iiiilk, twenty vegetable, twenty lumber, lifiuor. bread, 
and meat wagons, of single and double horse ; and about eighty 
buggies, single and double; besides fiwt passengers. On Sun- 
days, no less than forty oTunibusea, and from one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred buggies, pass nti'l repass, besides from one 
thousand to three thousand people, a large projiortion of whom are 
bound for Russ' Gardens. 

With this preliminary exi)lanation, and the reader's consent, as 
we cannot very conveniently journey together on botli roadsi, we 
will take that which, of the two, is rather the most pleasant — 
namely, the Folsom street, Tlie sides of this road, like those of 
tlio other, are adorned with pi-ivale residences, and well cultivated 
gardens and nurseries ; among the latter, the first which attracts 
the traveller's attention, is the " Gkilden Gate Nursery ;" then the 
" I'niti-d States ;" llien " Sonntag's ;" and at the comer of Folsom 
and t'enire, the "Commercial Nurwry.'" But. after passing the 


former oi' tlitse, and before arriving at the latter, a large Idiildiiig 
to the south attracts oiir attention; that is the French lluspitsl. 
Next in the celobmted " Ilu^' Gardens," a popular place of resort 
for Germans, especiallj- on Sundays. 


Here let ns digress for a moment, to relate a somewhat amusing 
conversBtiou that took place on Califoniia street, between the ser- 
vant of a friend and a Gentian woman, whose husband makes a 
eomfortable living Iij mending boots and shoes in a little wooden 
house on the sidewalk. 

German woman to Irish servant : 

" Bridget, why don't j-ou get married, and live in a conifurtable 
honse of your own '{" 

" Faith, and I don't see that ye"s very oonifortliable yessclf, for 
ye's slaving yesselffntm Montliay maniing until Sathiirday nite, 
washing elotlies for other peoples, while yer husbau' is mendin' 
boots and shoes, in that box on the sidewalk." 

" 0, yes, hut what of that ; you know we nmst all work for a 
living; and, Wsides, I and my husband are very hap[>y the whole 
of the week, for if I wash clothes, and he mends old boots and 
shoes, from M'mday morning until Saturday night, we always go 
to jRvsg' Garditm on Sundays T' 

Now, if this does not preach a sermon on contentment, it is of 
no use our trying. So we may as well pass on to say, that the 
next object that attracts our attention, is tite black volumes of 
smuke that roll from the chimney -top of the 


This establishment belongs to an incorporated company, half of 
the stock in which is owned in Sail Francisco, and lialf in the East. 
The works arc loc-ated half way between San Francisco and tlie 

I Mission, on a piece *if ground tliree acres in extent. 
The buildings are of brick, built in a massive st^-le, seventy -six 
feet front, one hundred and twenty feet deep, part four stories and 
basement, and part two stones and basement, with an engine 



hoTiee twenty by thirty feet ; a. bone-black factory, twenty -'two by 
forty feet, and two stories liigli ; o, eteaiu cooperage, twenty by 
one hundred feet, and boarding honse for hands detached. All 
the emoke from the varioue furuacea is condncted by underground 
flues, large enough to admit a niau through them, to a detaelied 
shaft or chimney, ninety feet high, fourteen feet square at tJie 
base, and live feet at the top, also of brick. 

A hne of clipi>er barks, of from four liuudred and fifty to eight 
hundred tons, are eniployed by the company, to run between 
Batnria and Manilla and this port, for the purpose of inijmrtitig 
i-aw sugars, of the brown grades, used by refiners, which is made 
into loaf, crushed, coffee-crushed, granulated, »nd powdered 
sugars, such as are currently used in the market. 

Tlie consumption of articles by this establishment, when work- 
ing up to its capacity, is as follows, per annnm : four thousand 
tons raw sugai-, sixteen liundrvd tons of coal, four liundred tons 
of bones, for making ivory or bone-black for filtering, oue milliim 
one hundred thousand staves, one million hoops, two hundred 
thousand heads for packiiges (barrels and kegs). Ihc works em- 
ploy sixty men in-doors, anfl directly and indirectly, in tlic getting 
of staves, lioops. liends, making barreU, freighting, teaming, eto,, 
about seventy-five to eighty iLioi'e — making about a liundred and 
fifty hands for wliom employment is found in the State, iu the re 
fining and proper preparation of an article of home consunij>tion. 

Tlie processes used in this establishment are of the newest and 
most improved kind. We cannot pretend to give a precise account 
of this interesting manufacture, but, in general terms, the process 
is as follows : 

The raw sugar is emptied info three large iron vats, of the cap- 
. acity of about three thousand gallons, in which it is boiled by 
steam. Various clai-ifying ingredients are added, and the boiling 
nmsa ia brought to a proper point of liquidity, denoted by certain 
delicate instruments, called sacchaTometers. It is theit run off 
through various strainers, and finally forced by a steam 
through fabrics of thick canvas, set in massive iron boxes. From 
these it issues liright and clear. 


It is then nin through four huge iron vats, each of which holds 
fifty to BJxtj' barrels of ivory-blat-k, in a granulatc^d state, from 
whifh, after twenty-four hours, it issues, being of a pale amber 
color, perfectly pellucid. 

The liquid sugar thus elurifiud is uonduoted through pipes to au 
instrument called the vacuum pan, out of wliich all the air is 
pumped, and iu this it is boiled, in vacuo, until it commences to 

Subsequently, it is poured into iron cones inverted, each holding 
about five gallons, of which tiie establishment is supplied with 
several thousands. In these, the process of crystallization is 
suffered to progress to a certain jKiint, after which, the cones (or 
moulds) and their contents are hoisted into draining-roonis, where, 
expo8e<l to a liigh temperature, they drain off the syrup from the 
crystallized sugar. In this room the crj-stailized sugar is further 
bleached, until it assumes the requisitu whiteness of the kind of 
refined sugar intended. After which, tlie sugar, now being firmly 
Bet, white, and partially hard, is removed to the oven, a structure 
capable of containing one hundred and seventy tons of sugar- 
loaves, and there dried or baked. 

It is then brought down into the mill-room, where there are 
four mills for pn'paring various kinds of sugar. 

There are also centrifugal machines iu process of erection, for 
preparing sugars of lower gra<le than loaf or crushed. Tliese mills 
revolve with an enonnous speed, the outer circumference travel- 
ling at tlie rale of twelve thousand feet per minute. Tlie syrups 
are parted from the crystals by the rapid centrifugal motion, and 
forced through the fine wire gauze which forms the outer circum- 
ference of tlie machine. Each of these machines will prepare two 
tonu of sugar daily. 

Besides the internal works, the manufactorlfcs attached for 
, making barrels and ivory -black are interesting, but not of a na- 
. tnre to be explained easily by a non-professional writer. 

On the premises are two fine artesian wells, giving tlie purest 
water, of which seventy to eighty thousand gallons per day are 
need in the establishment. 



The cust of the works exceeded one liuodred tliousand dollars. 

But we must now pass on, and as quickly as ]x>ssible, for two 
reasons: reason first, tlie liog-ranclies by the road-side are not 
as fragrant as the roses in Sonntag'a nursery ; reason second will 
appear when we arrive at Centre street. Turn to the right, crossing 

the bridgu over Mission Greet, and. on the new San Bruno lum- 
pike* obtain a genera! view of the Mission. 

Tlie beautiful green liills and pretty private reeidences that 
here dot the landscape, with the fine nurseries in the foregi-ound, 
will explain whj'the Mission Fathers chose tliis fertile and well- 
wtterod valley in preference tu tlie bleak and comparatively barren 
iMpMn, for their semi-religious and 8emi-philanthroj)ic object, and 
will "ff'^'' "f""^ ip**lfgy fo'' its possession by another race af^er 
Ibp fonm-r had passetl away. 

I |j,g tiollow, some three hundred yards below the Nightingale 


Hotel, is the Willows, a shady retreat lor pleasure seekers and 
parties, from which spot let us now go at onco to the Mission. 


Kow we have arrived at the quaint, old-fashioned, tile-covered 
sdobe charch, and buildings attached, part of which is still in 
use by the Mission, and a part is converted into saloons and a 
store. This edifice was ei-ected in 1775-6, and was completed 
and dedicatud, August 1st, 1776, and was formerly called San 
Francisco, in honor of the patron saint, Saint Francis, the name 
given to the bay by its discoverer, Junipero Serro, in October, 


I'hotoffraph by BamUlon <£ Oa. 

"While the church buildings were in course of erection, the 
Fathers had great difBculty in keeping the Indians, who performed 
most of the labor, at work. The earthy clay, of which the 
adobes were made, had to be prejiared by them, and after water 
had been thrown upon it, they would jump in and trample it 
\ with tlieir feet, but soon growing tired, would keep working only 
; 80 long as the Fathers kept singing. 

Tlie visitor will notice a number of old adobe buildings scattered 
here and there, in different directions ; these were erected for the use 


Ill' the Indians, one part being Tised for boys, and the otter for girls, 
and in whit-h they resided until tliey were about seventeen years 
tif age, when they were allowed to marry, after wliieh other apart- 
nientB were assigned them, more in aet^ordance with tbeir eondition. 

As late as 1849 there were two large boilers in the building* 
hack 111' the t-hitrch; and as meat was almost the only article of 
IVhxI, an ox was killed and boiled, wholesale, at which time the 
Indiana would gather around and eat until they were satisfied. 
Of course, most of our readers are aware that Catholics are not 
allowed to eat meat on Friday, but, owing to this being the only 
article of diet to the Indiana and native Califomiana around the 
Mission, they were not required to abstain from it, even on that day. 

According to Mr. Forbes, a very careful and accurate writer, 
who published a work in 1835, entitled the " History of Lower 
and Up])er California," the auudjer of black cattle belonging to 
this Mis.'tion in 18-31, was live thousand six hundred and ten; 
horaea, four hundred and seventy ; mules, forty ; while only two 
hundred and thirty-three fanegas (a fanega is about two and a half 
bushels) of wheat, seventy of Lidiaii com, and forty of small 
beans, wore raised altogether. At that time, however, the Mie- 
sions had lost much (>f their fonner glory ; for, in 1825, only six 
years before, that of Dolores, alone, is said to have had seventy- 
six thousand head of cattle, nine hundred and fifty tame borg^ 
two thousand breeding mares, eighty-four stud of choice breed, 
eight hundred and twenty midee. seventy-nine thousand sheep, 
two thousand hogs, and four hundretl and fifty-six yoke of work- 
ing oxen; and raised eighteen thousand bushels of wheat and 
barley. Besides, in 1802, according to Baron Humboldt, there 
were of males, in this Mission, four hundred and thirty-three; of 
females, three hundred and Dighty-one; total, eight hundred and 
fourteen. And yet, according to Mr. Forbes, in 1831, there were 
but one hundred and twenty-four males, and eighty-five females ; 
and now, there are — none. Truly, " the glory Iiaa departed." 

At that time, the Indians and native Califomians, for many 
miles around, would congregate at the Mission Dolores, about 
three times a year, bringing with them cattle enough to kill while 



they remained, which was generally about a week, and have a 
good holiday time witii each other. 

Before the discovery of gold, it was the custom here to keep a 
talmlar record of all the men, women, and children ; iiicrabers of 
the church ; marriages, births, and deaths ; the number of live 
stock ; and amounts of produce, ia all their business details ; but, 
since thou, every thing has changed for the worse. Even the 
lands devoted to, and set apart for, tlie use of the Mission, liave, 
nearly all, been squatted upon, so that now but a few hundred 
varas remain intact ; and, as to where the stock of all kinds have 
gone, "deponent saith not." 

One feels quite a pleasurable curiosity in examining the old 
Spanish manuscript books.still extant at this Mission, and looking 
up(»n their sheepskin covered lids and buckskin clasps. Besides 
these, there arc about six hundred printed volumes, in Spanish, 
on religious subjeete ; but, being in a foreign language, tliey are 
seldom or never read. 

At the present time, the only nees to which this Mission is de- 
voted is to give public instruction in the Catholic religion, the 
education of some seventeen pupils, the burial of tlie dead, and 
an occasional marriage. Of the last named, about eighteen have 
taken place within the past four years. 

The great point of attraction here to visitors from the city, is 
its quiet green graveyard, which, but for its being so negligently 
tended, and slovenly kept, would be one of the prettiest places 
near the city of San Francisco. 

In this last peaceful home, from June 1st, 1858, to May 20th, 1859. 
the following will show how many have been laid : June (1858), 
fifty-two ; July, sixty-seven ; Atignat, fifty -five ; September, fifty- 
five ; October, sixty-five ; November, fifty-seven ; December, fifty- 
six; January{1859), thirty-five; Febniary, forty-five; March,thirty- 
eight; April, thirty-three; May, up to the 20th, twenty-eight. 

It seems as though we could never weary in looking upon thtMO 
interesting scenes ; but as we have further to go, and, we trust, 
many more to look upon, let us again set out on our jaunt and 
visit this spot again at our leisure. 


Between the Mission Dolores and the Ocean Ilnufte there are no 
objecta of striking interest, except, perhaps, the San Kraneisct) 
Industrial School, recently erected for the benefit of depraved 
juveniles, situated near the top of the ridge we are gently ascend- 
ing, about six miles from the city, and three t'n.mi tlie oceau. 


'l. X 

" This institution, designed for the reformation and care of idle 
and dissolute children, as also those convicted of crime, was estub- 
lished hy an act of the Legislature, passed April 15th, 18B8, It 
provided that the necessary funds for the erection of the buildings 
)>boiild be raised by an enrolment of life and amnial members, and 
when a fund of ten thousand dollars had been so realized, then the 
Board of Supervisors were directed to appi'opriate the sum of 
twenty thousand dollars frrun the city treasury toward that object. 
The act also provided that, upon the organization of the school, a 
further appropriation of one thousand dollars per month should be 
made by the Board of Supervisors for the care and maintenance 
of the children and the salaries of its otRcers. 

" So deeply impressed were our citizens with the urgent nccee- 
sity of such an institution, that sixty life-members and four 
hnndred and thirty-three annual and contributing members en- 


rolled themselves at oiiee; and tlie flum of ten tboiigand eight 
hiiiitlred and fifty dollars having been raised in that way, the 
appropriation by the t-ity was made, thus placuig thirty thousand 
eight hundred and lifty dollars at the disposal of the Board. 

"The act fixed the number of managers at seventeen; fourteen of 
them to be elected by the members of the department, and the 
other three to be appointed by the Board of Supen-isors from their- 
own body. Tlie officers of the department and the chief officers 
of the school are made amenable to tlie general laws of the State 
relating to misdemeanor in office ; and the eecretarv, treasurer, and 
superintendent, and his deputy, are required to enter into bonds for 
the faithful discharge of their duty. By these wise provisions, the 
institution is invested witli many of the useful features of privat* 
charity, while, as a branch of the municipal govenmient, its affairs 
and the conduct of its officers are subjected to public scrutiny. 

" Upon tlie election of the Board, steps were at once taken to 
select a proper site for the institution. In this some difficulty was 
expenenced, but finally the Board detennined to adopt tlie lot 
pun^hased some years ago by the city for a House of Refuge, The 
tract contains one hundred acres, most of it good, arable land, and 
lies about five and a half miles to the sonth of llie city, on the San 
Jos^ road. The produce of this land will supply the house, and, 
perhaps, in time, yield some income. The building is placed near 
the middle of the tract, on a gentle slope toward the east, and 
commands a charming view of the surrounding country. On 
three sides the elevated hills, at a distance of three or four miles, 
surround it in a graceful curve, while, directly in front, lie the 
broad expanse of the bay, and the well-defined Coast liangc, with 
its towering peak of Monte Diablo. 

" In adopting a plan, the Board had before them descriptions 
of nmnerous buildings intended for the same purpose in other 
cities, and they selected that one which experience had shown to 
be fittest in every resi>ect. The designs were drawn under instruc- 
tions from the Board, and the contract was awarded for the erection 
of a centre building and one wing, at the sum of twenty-three tliou- 
Band dollars. In consequence of the continued rains of tlie past 


winter, the baildings were not finiahed w SMn ac Ae Board had 
hoped for, but the dorer progrew has raalted in the better wxk. 
Thubn tiding ift Roman m architeetore, and coostmeted flf ttone n 
the baMnncnt, and brick in the other stories. The centre hmJlMw^ 

is fort; 'five foiet br fifty -seven feet, and con^^ts nf nni nfnrini and ■ 
basement. Thebdght,fromtbegroDDdliDetothetopof theeoniicc, 
ui thirty-etgbt feet, and to the top of the bell-tover, fiftr-cix feeL 
llie basement story Js ten fe«t high, and contains the offiecfv* 
dinlDg-room, the kitt^icn, four cloeets, two store-rooms, tvoEervantai* 
roonia, and hatU eight and ten feet wide, extending throng the 
bnildiog. Ttie principal storr is fourteen feet in hei^t, and coo- 
tains two rooms sixteen feet by twenty feet ; two, Meen feet far 
twenty feet ; two, seven feet by fifteen feet ; a front hall eight 
feet wide, and a back hall ten feet wide, in which latter is plaevd 
the stairs. A transverse ball, five feet four inches wide, I^ds to 
the wings. This story is devoted to the ofiicers of the institatioo. 
"The second story is twelve feet in height, and is intended for 
the apartments of the supcrintt-ndeut and otlier resident oflict:^, 
and contains a bath-room and the neeeesary closets. The plan 
contemplates two wingsof similardesign and finish. Thesouthem. 
however, is the uuly one jet built. Die height of the wings is 
twenty-nine feet from the gronnd line to the top of the cornice^ 
The extreme southern part of the winga is twenty-three feet by 
fifty-nine feet ; and two stories Iiigli, Tlje first story, fourteen fuel 
high, contains the dining-room of tlie pupils, twenty-one feet by 
thirty-three feet; pantry, washing-roora, and water-closets for the 
pupils. The second story of this part of the wing is twelve feet 
liigli, and contains the hospital wards, bath-rooms, et*.-. That part 
of the wing connecting the southern part, just described, with the 
main building, is one story high, with six windows on each side, 
extending the full height of the wing. In the interior of this 
stands the dormitory portion, built of brick, eighteen feet by fifty- 
one feet six inches, three stories Iiigh, and each story containing 
sixteen dormitories, whicli are five feet six inches by seven feet 
six inches. Tlic dormitories face outward toward the walls of ti 
building, A corridor fourteen feet -wide, and open to the i 


Burronndo the dormitorioa, wliicli, on the socond and third floors. 
open upon galleries protected by iron railings. The donnitories 
are ventilated through the doors and the rooi', and each gallery is 
connected with a wash-room and water-closets. The galleries are 
approached by the staircases at each end. 

"The institution was inaugurated on the 17th of May, 1858, witli 
appropriate religious services, by the Rev. Doctor Anderson, and 
an address by Colonel J. B. Crockett," 

Tlie above history and description of the Indnstrial School, for 
iJic city and county of San Francisco, from the report of the iirst 
Board of Managers, will show how this institution came to have 
" a local habitation and a name." 

A few days ago, in order to inspect the building to ascertain the 
working of the system employed, and the present condition of an 
inetitutiou established from motives so purely philanthropical, and 
BO glowingly inaugurated, we paid it a visit, and regret to say 
that we were somewhat disappointed. Tlie situation is excellent ; 
the building, externally, is prepossessing ; and fiome of its internal 
arrangements are admirably adapted to the noble aim and end of 
its generous founders; but after passing into the sleeping quarters 
cf the boys, and looking at the iroii-barred windows, and the little 
brick cells with small iron gratings in the doors, the first impres- 
Bion was, " Tliis is more like a prison than an ' Industrial School.' " 
It is trne, that several of the youthful inmates have sought to 
make their little cells as inviting as possible by pasting engravings 
from the illustrated jiapers on the wall — and even these, on ihe 
morning of the day of our visit, some crusty and self-important 
personage of the old fogy school requested that " them things" 
should be " torn down," 

The antiquated and exploded ideaof "ruling with a rod of iron" 

eeems, unfortunately, to have found its way into this institution; 

' and all the angel arts and elevating tendencies of such agencies 

as taste, refinement, physical and mental amusement, mechanical 

conception and employment, and a thousand other progressive 

I influences, with all their happy effects, are, as yet, excluded. 

At half jiast five o'clock a, m., they are called up, and from 


that time to half past six, thej are preparing for breakfast ; imme- 
diately after that meal is over, they are taken out to work — ^not at 
any light mechanical business, forsooth, but to use a pick and 
shovel in grading the hill at the back of tlie building; such labor 
that is not only much too heavy for their strength, but in which 
a cou])le of Irishmen would do more in half a day than the entire 
corps of twenty -two boys (the j)resent number in this institution) 
could perfonn in a whole week. At noon, dinner is served up ; 
from one o'clock to half past two, they are employed at picking 
and shovelling, same as in the morning ; at three o'clock, they go 
to school until half past five ; supper is given at six ; at seven 
o'clock, they again go to school until half past eight ; and at nine 
they are sent to bed. 

Tliere are also a few girls here, who are allowed to perform any 
kind of employment in accordance with their tastes and wishes, 
under the supervision of the matron. 

Now we ask — and we do it anxiously and with the kindest and 

most respectful feeling — " How is it possible that, with such a 

routine of daily employment, they can possibly be improved in 

morals, which is the great and laudable aim of the founders of the 

institution?" Tliere is no gymnasium; no workshop; no suitable 

play ground — so that now they are all huddled together in the 

basement story, in front of their cells, during the little time 

allowed them for leisure. Indeed, they are made to feel by far 

too much that they are juv€7iih priaoners^ rather than boys and 

girls who are i)laced there, by a generous public, for their physical, 

mental, and moral improvement. Tliis should not be, and we 

earnestly commend the subject to the careful investigation of the 

Board of Managers. 

thp: ocean house. 

Upon reaching the top of the ridge, near the Industrial School, 
you perceive that we get a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean ; and 
shortly afterward find ourselves comfortably seated in one of the 
parlors of the Ocean House, where, while our animals are resting, 
let us say that this house is about eight and one-fourth miles from 
San Francisco, and was erected in 1855 by Messrs. Lovett and 


Green. If report speaks the trutli, tliey were just beginning 
to reap the reward of tlieir labors, when tliey were cheated 
out of it. 


From this point, wc have a commanding view of the enrroniiding 
country. Tlie liill in front of us, and at the back of the Industrial 
School, contains a quarry of the finest of sandstone, and wliicli, 
were there but a railroa<[ upon which to convey it to the city, 
could be delivered there at from two to three duUara per ton. 
South is tlie Lake House, and Rockaway House, at the east end 
of Lake Merced, but the latter is now used only as a private 
residence. From this point, too, an excellent view of the ocean 
IB obtained, where the ships and steamers are plainly visible. 

One Would scarcely suppose that here, where the winds sweep 
over the lands with siich fury, stouk of all kinds flourish better 
than in many of the favored inland valleys ; yet such is the fact, 
for, owing to the dense masses of heavy fog-«;louds that roll in 
from tlie ocean, tlie verdure is perpetual, while, in other localities, 
it is parched up. Tlie gardens, around, produce from fifty-five to 
one hundred sacks of potatoes to the acre, although the soil is 
very light and sandy. Besides, vegetables are taken to the San 

' Francisco market, from tJiis section, at an earlier time than from 

j that of any other part of the State 



Al>oiit two miles north of the Ocean House is a 1 
the Laguna Honda, at n'hich a distresBiiig accident occurred in 
1855, as the reader will call to memory, when two ladies and 
their two children were all drowned together, under the following 
circumstances. In the hack part of a carriage, built in the 
roekaway style, were seated Mrs. Openheimer and ilre. Urzney, 
each lady holding a child. On the front seat, wore two servants, 
a man and woman, the former of whom was driving, llaviug 
taken the road np the Kock House ravine, instead of that to the 
Ocean House, they aiTived at the edge of the lake, above named, 
and the road not being wide enough to admit their carriage, they 
drove into the water a little, on the edge of the lake. Their could 
have passed here in safety, but, unfortunately, the wheel strnuk a 
stump, and by some imexplainable means, the horse was thn)wii 
round, and he fell into deep water, M'hen the carriage was 
immediately turned upside down, and the forepart, striking the 
water, was forced down upon the two ladies and their children 
shutting them completely in, and they sunk to rise no 
servants, being left free, in the front of tliii carriage, sueceedi 
reaching the shore, and were saved. 


Snngly ensconced beneath tho hill, about half a mile from the 
Ocean House, and within a quarter of a mile of the sea, is tlie 
Beach House. This was first built on tho shore, near the edge of 
a small lake that we pass, but the high tides flowing in, waahed 
away its foundations, and compelled the alternative of their 
removing it nt once, or of allowing the sea to do it for them; and 
as the owners considered themselves the best carpenters of tlic 
two, they undertook, and succeeded in, tlic task — bi 
on the beach. 



There ia a never-ceasing pleasure to a refined mind, in lot 


npoii, or listening to, the hoaree, murmuring roar of the sea. ; au 
uu explain able cliami in the miifiic of its waves, as, with a seething 
Bound, they curl and gently break upon a sandy shore, during a 
calm; or dash in all their majesty and fury, with thundering 
voices, upon the unheeding rocks in a storm. Tliia is sublimity. 
Besides, every shell, and pebble, and marine plant, from the 
smallest fragment of sea-moss to the largest weed that germinates 
within the caverns of the deep, has an architectural perfection and 
beauty, that ever attracts the wondering admiration of the 
thoughtful. Yet we must not now linger here, or night will 
overtake us. 

This beach extends continuously from Seal Rock to Muscle Rock, 
about seven miles. Near the last-named place is a soda spring, 
and several veins of bituminous coal, to obtain which, shafts have 
been ennk to the depth of one hundred and twenty-four feet, in 
which the coal was found to grow better as they descended ; but, 
like many similar enterprises, when means to work it failed, it 


was abandoned. Other minerals are also found in this chain of 

Having had onr ride along the beach as far as Seal Rock, and 
watched the movements and listened to the loud shrill voices of 
the sea-lions, let us drive up the sand-bank south of tlie old Seal 
Rock House (now tenantless), and we shall find the road to the 
Fort, as sandy and as heavy as we could desire it ; yet, with the 
consolation that we can endure it, if the horses are able, until we 


When this was first taken and occupied by American troops, 
belonging to Colonel Stephenson's battalion, under Major Ilardie, 
in March, 1847, they found a circular battery of ten iron guns, 
sixteen-iwunders, mounted upon the hill, just above the present 
works, and which was allowed to remain, until a better one was 
ready to occupy its place. 

Tlie present beautiful and substantial structure was commenced 
in 1854, and is now nearly complcte<l. It is four tiers in height, 
the topmost of which is sixty-four feet above low tide ; and is 
capable of mounting one hundred and fifty guns, including the 
batterv at the back, of forty-two, sixtv-four, and one hundred and 
twenty -eight-pounders ; and, during an engagement, can accom- 
modate two thousand four hundred men. There have been appro- 
priations made, including the last, of one million eight hundred 
thousand dollars. Tlic greatest number of men employed at any 
one time, was two hundred ; now there are about eighty. 

The Lighthouse, adjoining the Fort, can be seen for from ten to 
twelve miles, and is an important addition to the mercantile inter- 
ests of California, although we regret to say the lantern, known as 
the '^ Freznel Light," is only of the fifth order, and is the smallest 
on the coast ; it is fifty-two feet above level. Two men are em- 
ployed to attend it. (vonnected with this is a fog bell, weighing 
one thousand one hundred pounds, and worked by machinery, that 
strikes every ten seconds for five taps — then has an intermission of 
thirty-four seconds, and recommences the ten-second strike. This 
is kept constantly running, during foggy weather. 



In the Bmall bay south of the Fort, have been two wrecks : the 
Chateau Palmer, May 1st, ISSC, and the General Cushing, October 
9th. 1S58; both outward bound, and partially freighted. 

Between Fort Point and (the celebrated political hobby) Lime 
Point, is the world-famed Golden Gate, or entrance to the Bay of 
San Francisco. This is one mile and seventeen yards wide. The 
tide here varies about seven feet. 

From this interesting spot, and on our way to the city, we pass 

nww or IHB pRRsntio. 

This is a military post, tliat was established shortly after the 
arrival of the first missionaries, mainly for their protection ; it was 
originally occupied by Spanish troops, and afterward by Mexi- 
can, until March, 1847, when it was taken by the United States, 
at which time the whole force of the enemy was a single corporal. 
At this time, also, thero were two old Spanish brass field-pieces 
found here, and two more near the beach, about where the end of 
Battery street, San Francisco, now is, and from which that street 
derived its name. 


The original bnildinge were constructed in a quadrangular 
fomi ; these having fallen into decay, bat three remain, two of 
which at the present time are used as store-rooms. At the close of 
the war, this post was occupied by a company of dragoons, who were 
relieved by a company of the 3d Artillery, under Captain Keyefi, 
who kept it contimiously for ten years. Its present garrieon con- 
sists of two companies of the 6th Infantry, numbering about 180, 
officers and men. 



S the fine little steamer 
"Kambler" was BOundi 
her last whistle, we retieivei 
a partiDg iDJuuctiun — writes 
an esteemed acqnaintance*- 
I'roiTi friends on the Broad- 
\\:iy street wharf, SaTi Fran- 
ij-i'<i, "to keep well aft," 
nni\ fitejiped on board. 

It was one of the chilliest, 
dreariest, most disagreeable 
of Sau Francisco's summer 
moniiDTs A dense fog, 
fresh from tht, great factory 
out un tliL Pacihc, was roll- 


ing in over the bills at the back of the city, and hiirrying atTOfis 
the bay before a stifl' north-west wind. Tlie waves, as they rolled 
along the eidos of the shipping, or Bplashed among the p!k>s, 
seemed to be playing a most melancholy march, to whicli tlie 
great army of fog-clouds moved across the eheerlosB water, and 
their commanding officer — the wind — seemed to be continnally 
saying " forward," as it whistled through the rigging of tlit 

The individual who is always just too late, made his appear- 
ance, as usual, as the steamer's fasts were cast off, and her wlieeU 
commenced their lively though monotonous dittj- in the water. 

Two or three Wliitehall boatmen, who were lying off tlie wliarf, 
evidently expecting such a " fare," gave tlieir lazily playing skulls 
a vigoi'ous pull, which sent their beautiful little craft darting into 
the wliarf. Tlie boy with the basket of oranges hastened to offer 
the would-be-traveller " three for two bit8,"by way of consolation, 
and as he slowly proceeded up the dock again, the other boy with 
the papers and magazines called his attention to tlie last *' Har- 
per's," or " Ilutchings' California Magazine." 

The ten thousand voices of the city became blended into a con- 
tinuous roar, as we glided out into the stream; the long drawn 
"go-o-o ahead," or ''hi-i-gh," of the stevedores at their work, dis- 
charging tlie stately clippers, being about the only Intelligible 
sounds to be distinguished above the mass. 

cEOsamo the bay. 
Soon the outermost ship, on board of which a disconsolate 
looking " jolly tar" was riding down one of the head stays, giving 
it a " lick" of tar as he went, was passed, and wc struck the strong 
current of wind which was blowing in at the Golden Gate (care- 
lessly left open, as usual). Tlie young giant of a city had become 
swallowed up in the gloom of the fog, and its thousands of busy 
jjeoplc ceased to exist, except in our imaginations. After passing 
Angel Island, the fog began to lift ; we were approaching the 
edge of the bank ; and soon the eun appeared, hard at work at 
his apparently liojwless task of devouring the intruding fog, which 




had dared to interpose its cold LillowB between liiin ajid the bay, 

iTipon wliicb ho lovca to shine. 

The coiiree of the boat was along the western side of Pablo Bay, 
close enough to the shore to give the paeaengere a fine view of it, 
ae well as of the inland country, and tlie more distant mountains 
*f tlie coaet range. Large ina8e€« of misty clouds, which had 
tecome detacJied from the main fog bank, still partially obscured 
the sunlight, casting enonnoiis shadows along the hill sides and 
•cross the plains, heightening, by contrast, the golden tinge of the 
wild oats, and giving additional beauty to the varied tints of the 
cultivated fields. Beyond, Tamal Paif, and other and lesser 
peaks of the Coast Range, piled their wealth of purple light and 
misty shadows, against tho brightness of the western sky. 

I wonder that our artists, in their search for the picturesque, 

iliATU overlooked the splendid scene which Tamal Pais and th« 
adjacent mountains present from tlie vicinity of R«d liock, or 
the eastern shore of the straits. It is certainly one of the 
most picturosqne scenes anywhere in tlie vi('inity of San Francisco, 
especially toward sunset, wlien tho long streaks of sunlight come 
streaming down tho ravines, piercing witli their golden light the 
hazy mystery which envelops tho mountains, and brilliantly illum- 
inating the inten'ening plains and hill-sides. From the familiarity 
of tlio view, a good picture would, without doubt, be much sought 


■ The seamanship of the pilot was much exercised while navi- 
rgatingthe "Rambler"' up Pelaluma Creek. The creek is merely a 
long, narrow, ditc-h-like iiidcQlatiun, whitrh makes up into the flat 
tule plains at the northern side of Pablo Bay, and into which the 
tide ebbs and flows. Its course verj- much resembles the track of 
a man wiio has spent half an lionr hunting for a lost pocket-book 
in a field. If, after gazing awhile at the creek, the eye should be 
suddenly turned to a rain's horn or a manzanita stick, tlie latter 
would appear jK-rfectly straight, by comparison. First we go 
toward the north star awhile, then we come to a short bend 
, where an immense amount of backing, and stopping, and going 


ahead occurs, which all results in running the boat hard and fast 
ashore. Then the pilot, perspiring freely from his nolent exer- 
tions at the wheel, thrustd his head out of the window, and, after 
taking a survey of tlie state of affaire, sets himself to ringing the 
signal bells again. Tlien the crew get out a long pole, and plant- 
ing one end in the bank, apply their nnit«d strength to the other. 
No movement ! Tlieii the captain heroically nishea ashore in tlie 
mud and tules, and calls for volunteers to help him push. Human 

strength and steam triumph in the end, and the " liarahler," with 
one side all besmeared with mud, goes paddling off toward Cape 
Horn. After progressing a short distance in this direction, another 
bend is reached, when more superhuman exertion on the part of 
the pilot ensnes, and plump we go ashore again. Then the captain 
^ves utterance to a vigorous exclamation (but as the expletive 
does no good, it is hardly necessary to repeat it here), and then 
he jumps into the mud again. Half the passengers follow suit, 
the crew go through with their pole exercise, pilot plays nnotber 


tune on the bells, engiueer gets bothered, and finally off we start 
in the direction of Japan, leaving the captain and his gtiore party 
standing in the mud. Upon backing up for tliem to get on board, 
the boat becomes fast again. This is a fair specimen of the navi- 
gation of Petaluma Creek above tbo city (of one honeo), called 
the *' IlayBtack." 

Before reaching Petaluma, we met a little steamer coming down 
with a load of wood. She resembled an immense pile of wood 
with a smoke-stack in the centre, floating down the stream, and 
appeared to take up the whole width of tlio ereek, when our pas- 
sengers began to wonder how we were to get by. It was a tight 
fit. There was not room enough left between the two boats to 
insert this sheet of paper. Tlie " Rambler" puffed, and from the 
depths of the wood pile was lieard a sort of wheezing, as if half a 
dozen people with bad colds were down there somewhere, all try- 
ing to cough at once, and couldn't. The captain gave utterance 
to a few more expletives, as the rough ends of the wood defaced 
the new paint on our boat ; but Uie skipper of the wood-pile only 
laughed ; yet, as the " Rambler," in passing, scraped off two or 
three cords of his cargo, it then became our turn to laugh. 


Petaluma was reaehcd at last, and the passengers for IIeald&- 
burg found a stage in waiting. Jumping in, we were soon whiz- 
zing across tlic plains behind a couple of iine colts. Tlie road lay 
directly up the Petaluma and Russian River Valleys. Past the 
ranches — along the sides of interminable fields of com and 
grain — througli the splendid park-like groves — sometiraea across 
the open plain, at others winding around the base of tlie hills, 
which make up from the eastern side of tlio valley. 

Santa Rosa was reached by sunset. Our arrival was hailed by 
tbo ringing of a great number and variety of bells. How sing- 
ular it is that tbe arrival of a stage-ooaeh in a country town 
always sets tbe dinner-bells to ringing, especially if tho ocenrrenee 
happens about meal time. 

By the time sup]>er was despatehe<l, and a pair of sober old 
■ 15 



btagers put to in the place of our frisky voutig colts, the moon hai 
risen over the uioiintains, and was flooding the valJey with ba 
ploriouB sheen, tipping the fine old oaks with a silvery fringe <rf 
light, and laying their soleniu shadows along the grass and acrov 
till? road. A pleasant ride of two hours carried us to the end of 
our first day's journey, Ilealdsburg. 

On the following morning, we were recommended to apply Bt 
the stable opposite the hotel for lioraes. Having selected one 
warranted not to kick up nor stand on liis hind legs, nor jump 
Btiff-legged, nor play any other pranks, he was saddled and 
bridled at once. Our portfolio (which, for want of a better cover- 
ing, was carried in an old barley sack) was slung on one side, and 
our wardrobe depended at the other. A whip was added to com- 
plete the outfit, accompanied by the observation that as " Old 
Pete" M'as apt to " soger," " wo might find it useful." 

Then the stable man attempted to describe the road to Cay's 
Eanche, First, we should como to a bridge ; a luile beyond that, 
see a house, to which we were to pay no attention, but look out 
for a haystack. Having found the haystack, we were to turn to 
the loft, and would soon come to a long lane, lliat would lead us 
to another house, where we were either to turu to the right, or 
keep straight ahead, he had forgotten which. At this point of the 
description, a bystander interposed, saying tliat we must turn to 
the left; upon this, an argument sprung up between the two, 
which nearly led to a fight. 

Finding that there was not much information to be elicited 
from those M'itnessea, "Old Pete" received a touch and started, 
with our head buzzing with right and left hand roads, while a 
regiment of ranches, lanes, and haystacks, st^enied to he a " bob- 
bing round" just ahead of the horse's nose. We found the bridge, 
and saw the house, to which we were to pay no attention ; there 
was no need of looking out for a haystack, for a dozen were in 
sight ; so, selecting the biggest one, we turned to the left, accord- 
ing to the chart. 

We rode along about a mile, and came to a fence which barred 
any further progress in that direction ; then kept along the fence 


until we came to a laac wliich touk us to a ]>air of bars. I.ct 
down the obstruL-tion, traversed another lane, and at the end of 
it found ourselves in somobody's dooryard. It waa evident tliat 
we had taken the wrong road. 

Wo now obtained fresh diret-tions at the farm-house, hut as 
tliree or four attempted at the same time to tell us the way — all 
talking at once, and each insisting upon his favorite route so tliat 
Wti speedily bocamo mixed up again with another lab^Tintli of 
fences, lanes, and haystacks — we began to doubt the existence of 
Buch a place as " Ray's Ranche." It seemed forever retreating ae 
we a^lvanced, like the mythical crock of gold, buried at the foot 
of a rainbow, whieh we remembered starting in search of once, 
when a youngster. 

But tlie ranche was foimd at last, and a very tini- one it is, too. 
The house is situated a little way up in the foot-hills, and com- 
mands a splendid view of Russian River Valley, the Coast Range, 
Mount St. Helens, etc, Tlie ranche itself, garden, orchards, and 
fields of wheat and com, is situated in a valley, just below the 
house, which muki-s uy 1k;1wwii thu i-k-.p (iL..iuilaiij t-idod. A 

228 SCENEfl IJJ gAitFOBNlA. 

tlie proprietors of the Gej-Bers, wlio was also on the way up. From 
the accounts which have been published, wt? L-xpcctt-il to find the 
road from here a rough one. But it is nothing of the sort. It is 
a very good mountain trail, wide enough for a wagon to pa^ 
along its wiiole length. Buggies havo been cloar tlirongh, and 
could go again, were a few days' work to be expended upon the 
trail. It is quite steep, in many places, as a matter of coarse ; 

bnt fri>rn the faet that Mr. G (who was mounted tipon a 

young colt, that bad never before been ridden, and had simply a 
piece of rope by way of bridle) trotted down most of the declivi- 
ties, it may be inferred that the grade is not so very steep. 

Tlie first tiiree or four miles beyond Ray's, tn the summit of the 
first ridge, is all up hill ; nearly 1,700 feet in altitude being gained 
in that distance, or 2,268 feet above the level of the sea, B«y*« 
being 617. 


Tliere are few places in all California where a more magnificent 
view can be obtained, than the one seen from this ridge. The 
whole valley of Russian River lies like a map at your feet, extend- 
ing from thcsoulli-east and south, where it joins Pclaluma Valley, 
clear round to the north-west. Tlie courseof the river can be traced 
for miles, far away, alternately sweeping its great curves of rippling 
silver out into the opening plain, or disappearing behind the dark 
masses of timber. From one end of the valley to the other, the 
golden yellow of the plain is diversified by the darker tints of the 
noble oaks. In some places they stand in great crowds; then an 
open space will occur, with perhaps a few scattered treee, which 
ser^'o to conduct the eye to where a long line of them appeant 
like an army drawn up for review, with a few single trees in front 
by way of officers ; and in the rear a confused crowd of stragglers 
to represent the baggage train and camp followers. Here and 
there, among the oaks, the vivid green foliage and bright red 
stems of the graceful madrone, and on the banks of the river can 
be seen the silvery willows and the dusky sycamores. 

The beauty of the plain is still more enhanced by the nuraeruue 

,\I,IK0KN1A GEY61 



ranches, with their widely extending fields of ripe grain and ver- 
dant com, 

Ufvond the valley is tUo long extending line of the Coast Moun- 
tains. The slanting rays of the dec-lining sun were overspreading 
the niyBterioiiB hlne and purple of their sliadowy sides with a 
glorious golden haze, tliroiigh whose ganzy splendor eould he 
traced the summits only of the different ranges — towering one 
ahovo the other, each suceeeding fainter than the last, until the 
indescrihably fine outline of the highest i>eat8, but one remove, in 
color, from the sky itself, hounded the prospect. 

Toward the south-east, we could see Mount St. Ilelen's, and the 
upper part of Napa Valley. St, Helen's is certainly the most 
l>eautiful mountain in California. It is far from being as lofty 
as its more pretentious brethren of the Sierra Nevada, and by 
the side of the great Shasta Butte it would be dwarfed to a mole- 
hill ; but its chaste and graceful outline is tlic very ideal of 
mountain form, Tliere is said to be a copper plate, bearing an 
inec-ription, on the summit of tins mountain, placed there by th« 
Russians many years ago. 

Away off", toward the south, we conld discern that same old fog, 
Btill resting, like a huge incubus, upon San Francisco hay. Its 
flee<:y billows were constantly in motion — now obscuring, now 
revealing the stnnmits of different peaks, which rose like islands 
out of the sea of clouds. Above, and far beyond the fog, the 
view tenninated with the long, level line of the blue Pacific, sixty 
or seventy mill's distant. 

From the point where we have stopped to take this exteudeil 
view (t(X) much extended, on paper, perliai>e the reader will think), 
the horses elinihed slowly up the steep ascent, leading to a 
plateau, on the northern side of a mountain, which has received 
no less than three different names. As it is a difficult matter, 
among so many titles, to fix upon the proper one, we will enumer- 
ate them all, and the reader can take his choice. The mountain 

was first called " Godwin's Peak," in honor of — there, G , the 

out of the bag I your name has got into print, in spite of 
our endeavors to keep it out. AVith characteristic modesty, Mi'. 



G declined the honor wlufli the iiame conferred npon 1 

and it was changed by somebody or other to " Geyser Peale^ 
but, for some unknown rcas«>n, thie name aleo failed to stick, ftiu 
somebody else came along and called it "Siitphnr Peak." Bot] 
the latter names are inappropriate, for tliere are no Qcyeers do 
no snlphur within five miles of the mountain. G., we are afra 
you will have to endnre your honors, and stand godfathe 

The " Peak" rises to the height of three thousand four bundH 
and seventy-one feet above the level of the sea, and its sides a 
covered, clear to the Biunmit, with a tliick growth of tangle^ 
chaparal. From here, the trail runs along the narrow ridge cd 
the mountains, formmg the divide hetween " Sulphur Creek" (aa 
odious name for a beautiful trout stream) and Pliitou River, 
The ridge is called tlie " Hog's Back*' — still another name, » 
iiiaj)propriate as it is homely. The ridge much more resemblef 
the back of a horse which haa jnst crossed the itlaine, or hat 
dieted for some time on shavings, than that of a plump porker, 
From the end of this ridge the trail is quite level, as far a 
top of the hill, which pitches sharply down to the river, and J 
the foot of which the Geysers are situated. 


When about two-thirds of the way down the hill, the rui 
noise of the escaping etcam of the Great Geyser can be heard 
but, unless the stranger's attention was called to it, he would mis- 
take the sound for the roaring of the rivet'. About tliis tim"' 
too, is recognized the sulphurous smell with which the air 

Just as the traveller begins seriously to think that the liill 
no bottom, the white gable end of the hotel, looking strangely oat 
of place among its wild surroundings, comoa unexpectedly into 

Upon awakening, on the following raoniing, it was a diffioq 
matter to convince ourselves that we had not been transportai 
while asleep, to the close vicinity of some of the wharves in 8 
Francisco, there was such &pou)eiful smell of what seemed to 


^^M ancient dock miul. It was the sulphur. Tlie smell ia a trifle un- 
^H^ pleasaiit at first, but one soon becomes accuetomed to it, and ratht-r 
' likea it than otlierwisc 

Tlie view of the Geysers, from the hotel, is a very striking one, 
more especially in the moniing, when the steam can be plainly 
seen, issuing from the earth in a liundred different places ; the 
numerous columns uniting at somo distance above the earth, and 
forming an imiiiense cloud, which overhangs the whole caflon. 

Ah the sun advances above the hills, this cloud is speedily 
" eaten up," and the different columns of steam, with the excep- 
tion of those from the Steamboat Geyser, the Witches' Cauldron, 
and a few others, become invisible, being evaporated as fast as 
they issue from the ground. 

Breakfast disposed of, Mr. G, kindly offered to conduct us to 


th» ditfereiit »prin^ Tliu trnJI iJi.-»oeii(Ia abrnjitlj &nm the boose, 
airioii^the tangled nndei^rovrtli of the ettwp mountain ^de^to tliv 
river, Borae ninoty feethulow. We passed on the w«y the long 
row of bathing-houaee, the water for which is conveyed Across thi- 
river in tt lead pipe, from » hot sulphur spring on tbp opjMisite 

The iint-nrthlv-ltHikinp caflon, in wliinh most of thu spring ant- 
Fitnated, makes up into the luountainH diret-Uy fntra lite river. A 
wnall elrcam of water, which rises at tho head of the rafion. Hows 
thriTUgh its whole length. Tlii; stream is piini and cwld at it£ 
»our(M>. hut gradoally hecomca heated, and ila pnritr sadly sullied. 
as it receives the waters of the numerous springs alon^ ita bauks. 


Hot Rprinps aiul coM tpriiigs ; white, red, and black sulphur 
springH ; irmi, soda, and hoiling alnm springs ; and the deuce only 
knows what nthcr kind of springs, all ponr their medicated waters 
intd tho liflh' Htronni, until its once pure and limpid water— like a 
hnniiin piirii-nt niiide sick by over-<loctiiring — beetjmes palo, and 

tiae s wheyish, sleklj, unnatural look, as it feverishlr toBsea and 
tumbles over its rocky bed, 

A short distance up the caflun there is a deep, shady pool, which 
receives the united waters of all the springs above it. By the 
time the stream reaches here, its medicated waters become cooled 
to the temperature of a warm summer day, and the basin furmB, 
perhaps, the most luxurious bath to be found in the world. 

A few feet from this, there is a warm alum and iron spring, 
whose water is more thoroughly impregnated than any of the 

A little way further up is " Proserpine's Grotto," an enchanting 
retreat among the wild rocks, completely surrounded and enclosed 
khj the fantastic roots and twisted branches of the bay trees, and 


n>ofed over by their wide-flpreading foliage. GlimpaeB of the nar^ 
row gorge above, with its iiunierous cascades, can be obtained 
throngli the openings of the trees ; the whole forming odq of the 
finest ^' little bits," as an artist would call it, to be found in the 

As wo proceeded up the caflon the springs became more numer^ 
ous. Tliey were bubbling and boiling in every direction. We 
hardly dared to move for fear of putting our feet into a spring of 
l)oiling alum, or red sulphur, or some other infernal concoction. 
Tlie water of the stream, too, was now scalding hot, and the rocks, 
and the crumbling, jwrous earth, were nearly as hot as the water. 
We took good care to literally ''follow in the footsteps of our 
illustrious predecessor," as he hopped about from boulder to boul- 
der, or rambled along in (as we thought) dangenius proximity to 
the boiling waters. Eveiy moment he would pick up a handful 
of magnesia, or alum, or Bul})hur, or tartaric acid, or Epsom salts, 
or some other nasty stuflF, plenty of which encrusted all the rocks 
and earth in the vicinity, and invite us to taste them. From fre- 
quent nibblings at the different dei)osits, our mouths became so 
puckered up, that all taste was lost for any thing else. 

In addition to these strange and unnatural sights, the ear wa«i 
saluted by a great variety of startling sounds. Every spring had 
a voice. Some hisseil and sj>uttered like water ix)ured upon red 
hot iron ; others reminded one of the singing of a tea-kettle, or the 
purring of a cat ; and others stH?tluHl and bubbled like so many 
cauldrons o{ boiling oil. One s«-iunded precisely like the ma- 
chinery of a grist mill hi motion (it is called "Tlie Devil's Grist 
ifiir'V and another like the pR>j>eller of a steamer. 

High above all tlu^se sounds was the loud roaring of the great 
'* Steamboat Govser."* Tlie steam of tliis Gevser issues with 
irreat force from a hole about two feet in diameter, and it is so 
lieatiHl as to bo invisible until it has risen to some height from the 

♦ This iieyser u* shown in tho viow of " Gerser Cafion." It is the upper large colomn 
«>f »coain on the lett side of the oaAon ; the one Ivlow it, and neaner the spectator, is 
the " Wiiclk** rauKin^n." The forejfn^und of tl:e v^pw is ocv'upied by the " Mouotain 
of Fire." fh^m which the steam usues by a hundrvd different apertum^ 




^^m. ^ * 

ground. It is highly daiiguroiis to approach very trK)8e to it iinless 
tiiere is sufficieut wind to blow tlie steam aside. 

But the moBt startling of all the various sounds was a continnoue 
subterranean roar, aimilar to that which ]>reoede8 an earthquake. 

We must eonfcaa, that when in the midst of all these horrible 

sights and sounds, we felt very niucL like suggesting to G 

the propriety of returning, but a fresh handful of Ejisoni salts 
and alum, mixed, stopped our mouths, and by the time we had 
ceased sputtering over the puckerish compound, the "Witches' 
Canldron" was leai^lied. (See vignette.) This is a horrible place. 

"Mind how you step here," said G , as we approached it; 

and, with the utmost caution, we placed our Urm in his tracks, 
that is, as much of tlicm as we could get in. 

Tlie cauldron is a hole, sunk like a well in the precipitous side 
of the mountain, and is of unknowni depth. It is filled to the 
brim with sonietliing that looks very much like burnt eork and 
water (we believe tlie principal ingredient is black sulphur). This 
liquid blackness is in constant nioti(m, bubbling and surging from 
side to side, and throwing up its boiling spray to the height of 
three or four feet. Its vapor dejiosits a black sediment on all the 
rocks in its vicinity, 

Tliere are a great many other springs — some two hundred in 
number — of every gradation of temperature, from boiling hot tt» 
icy cold, and impregnated with all sorts of mineral and chemical 
compounds; frequently the two extremes of In-at and cold an- 
found within a few inches of each other. Hut as all the other 
springs present nearly the same characteristics as most of those 
already referred to, it would he but a tedious repetition to attempt 
to describe more. Tlicy are all wonderful. Tli« ordinary obser^-er 
can only look at them, and wonder that such things e.\iMl; but Ui 
the scientific man, one capable of divining the inyNteriuuit chum; 
of their action, the study of tbem nmst he an en'iuisite delight. 

It is worth the traveller's while to climb the mounlains on the 
north side of the Plulon, for tlic fine view which their summltB 
afford on every hand ; towartl the north, a part of ( 'Icar Lake cim 
be seen, some fifteen miles dislAnt. But, |wrhapB, fhu mxtm which 

would delight a lover of nature most, can be obtained by rising 
early and walking back halt a mile upon llie trail which descends 
to the hotel. It is to set the gorgeous tints of the eastern sky, as 
the sun comes elimbing up behind the distant mountaine, and 
afterward to watcli his long slanting rays in the illaminatcd inist, 
as they come streaming down theeafion of the Pluton, flashing; on 
the water in dots and sploBhes of dazzling light, and tipping the 
rich ehadows of the closely -woven foliage with a fringe of gold. 

Some people have said that California scenery is monotonous, 
that her mountains are all alike, and that her ekies repeat each 
other from day to day. Believe them not, ye distant readers, to 
whom, as yet, our glorious California is an unknown land. Tho 
monotony is in their own narrow, nn appreciative stmls, not in our 
grand mountains, towering, ridge upon ridge, until the long line 
of tho furthest peaks becomes blended with the dreamy liaze that 
loves to linger round their summits. And the gorgeous glow of 
our sunrises, or the still more gorgeous green and orange, and 
gold and crimson, of onr sunsets, reflect their heavenly hues D{H 
dull eyes,indeed when they can see no beauty lu them. 



This beautifully pifturesfiue and ronmatic waterfall is situated on 
Deer Creek, about nine miles below the large and pojinlnus iiiinitit; 
town of Nevada. To tliose who are unacquainted witb tiie tecli- 


nicalities of miniiig, tlie meaning of the above name, when applied 
to a waterfall, may be somewhat of a mystery. To make it plain 
to every reader, perhaps it will not be uninteresting to describe 
one of the implements of mining called the Long Tom, This 
ancient, and now almost obsolete mining tool, if snch it may be 
called, consists of a long flatish box or sluice, from ten to fifty feet 
in length, and from one foot to three feet in width, and open at 
the top ; into this the dirt is thrown, and through it a stream of 
water is turned. Tlie back end being elevated, gives sufficient fall 
for the water to pass down with considerable force. At the lower 
end there is a plate of perforated iron, called, a Tom Iron^ through 
which the water, dirt, and gold pass into a "riffle-box" underneath; 
where the gold is saved. Tliis box has narrow strips of wood across 
the bottom ; and when one end is elevated the water makes a fall, 
or riffle. Ilencc, from the great resemblance in the shape of the 
above falls to a riffle-box, comes the name of Riffle-Box Falls. Dur- 
ing the winter season, when the water rushes over with an impetu- 
ous sweep, it is remarkably wild and tumultuous. 

In 1852, a company was formed to test the richness of tliis great 
riffle-box of nature ; and to accomplish which a tunnel was cot 
throu<^h a hill of solid rock, about three hundred feet in length, at 
a cost of twenty thousand dollars. Tlirough this tunnel the waters 
of the creek were turned, and by which the falls were drained. 

Tlie water had worn deep holes in the bed of the creek, and to 
pump these dry, seven thousand dollars more were expended in 
machinery, &c. When this was accomplished and the " box" was 
made dry, the whole of tlie gold that was taken out was only abmit 
two hundred dollars. 

This is one of the many enterprises into which the Califomian 
enters, and where his money and time — frequently all that he pos- 
sesses — are embarked, in a single venture, and he thrown penni- 
less upon his own energies to begin life again — as he terms it. 
Tliis will give friends in the East at least, one idea why the miner 
frequently remains from dear friends and home so long, when his 
hopes of returning were built upon the success of his undertaking 
— and which too often proves a complete failure. 

I " 


Until tlie discovery of the rich silver mines of WaslKx.-, this m- 
markahly beautiful lake was known only to the fev,'. It is tnie 
tliat the footsteps of the old mountaineer, the early explorer, and 
the pioneer emigrant, trod its eilent shores at a very early day ; 
aad in later years the hardy prospector, in search of Groid Lake, 
and other fahnloua localities of suppoaed WL-alth, looked ii]»oii the 
buniished waters, and eloud-drapc-d crags that encompass this 
beautiful sheet, with charmed eyes. But it remained for the liv- 



ing tide of population that poured into that r^on over the Sier- 
ras, in search uf the precious ores, during the excitement of 1860, 
and Bubsequcntly, to make this scene become extensively familiar; 
inasmuch as a magnificent view of Lake Bigler can be obtained, 
on reaching the sunmiits of the surrounding mountains, from near- 
ly every northern trail into Washoe, especially that from Placer- 
ville, without even turning aside from the road. 

It may not be generally known, that, at the heads of nearly 
every stream originating among the snows of the Sierra Nevada, 
there are extensive lakes, or fertile valleys, from the Siskiyou 
mountains to Fort Yuma. To these retreats the stock raisers of 
the midland counties take their droves, when the feed in the Sac- 
ramento and San Joa(|uin valleys becomes scant, or dried up dur- 
ing the dry months of summer. 

Since the excitement before alluded to, numerous companies 
of prospectors have gone out in the hope of finding rich veins of 
silver-bearing quartz ; and, in addition to discovering tlie valuable 
mines of ^lono, Esmeralda, and othera equally rich, they have re- 
turned with ever-to-be-remembercd mind-pictures of those scenes 
of beauty and of grandeur, that lie slumbering in lofty solitude 
among the rocks and j)eak8 and stunteil pines of this great moun- 
tain chain. 

During the year 1855, Mr. George II. Goddard, civil engineer, 
in charge of the state wagon-road survey, visited this spot, and 
favored us with the following sketch : 

''This beautiful lake is situated in a valley of the Sierra Nevada, 
at the eastern base of tlie central ridge, a few miles north of the 
main road of travel to Carson Vallev. It lies at an elevation of 
some 5,800 feet above the level of the sea, and about 1,500 feet 
above Carson Valley, from which it is divided by a mountain ridge 
three to four miles across. 

"The southern shores of this lake were explored during the state 
wagon-road survey of 1855, and its extreme southern latitude de- 
termined at 38° 57'. The 120th meridian of west longitude divides 
the lake i)retty e(]ually, giving its western shore to California and 
its eastern to Utah. Its northern extremitv is only known by re- 



port, whicli is still so coutradietory that the lenglli of the lake imiji- 
luit be set down with aiiy thing like HC(;iirm:y, It can htinily ex- 
ceed, however, twenty miles in length by about six in breadlli; 
notwithstanding, it has been caliod forty, and even sixty miles 

'^"Die surrounding monntains rise from one to three, and, pur- 
liaps, in some cases, four thousand feet above the surface of the 
lake They are prineipaHy composed of friable white granite, 
BO water-woni that, altliougli they are rongh, and ot^en c;overeil 
vith rocks and bouldure. yet they eliow no cliffs or precipices. 
Tlicir bases, of granite sand, rise in majestic curves from the plaiji 
of the valley to their steejier fia»k«. Many of tlic smaller hills 
are but high heaps of bonlders, tho stony likeletuns decaying in 
attu, half buried in tlieir granite de/tris. Tlie shores of the lake, 
at least of its sontheni coast, are entirety formed of granite sand ; 
not a ]>ebble is there to mar its perfect smoothness. 

" A dense pine-forest extends from the water's edge to the sum- 
mits of the surrounding mountains, excc]it in some ]ioints whei-e a 
peak of more than ordinary elevation rears its bald head aliove 
the waving forest. An extensive swampy flat lies on its soulhcni 
shore, through which the Upper Tnickeo slowly meanders, gather- 
ing up, in its tortuous course, ntl tho streams which flow from the 
south or south-east. Tlje deep blue of the waters indicates a con- 
siderable depth to the lake. Tlie water Is jwrfectly fresh. Tlie 
lake well stocked with saltnon and trout. It is resorted to at cer- 
tain seasons by the neiglilxtring Indians, for fishing. 

"Although lying so near the main rood of travel, little lias been 
known of this lake until ipiitc a recent period. Tliere is no doubt 
this is the lake of which the Indians informed Colonel Fremont, 
when on<!araped at Pyramid Lake, at the mouth of tlie Salmon- 
Trout or Tnickee river, and which lie thus ivhites, under date of 
January 15, 1844: 'They made on the ground u drawing of the 
river, wliicli they represented as issuing from another lake in tlic 
mountains, three or four days distant, in a direction a little west 
of south ; beyond which they drew a mountain, and farther Btill 

ro rivers, on one of which they told ns tliat people likeoHrselvus 

•J 12 


rcuvflled.* How i;lear dues this desorii>lLnii read to iii*. now Ihat 
we kiiipw tlie luealities! 

"Afterward, wlii'ii tintsBiiig the moiinlains near Curson Pk^ 
(,'uio"L'l Freinunt caught eight of this hike, but, decuivud by llio 
f!;reat altitudo of the mountains to its east, and the apparent pa|< 
in tlie wcHteni ridge at Johnson PaBB, he laid it down as being uu 
the California eide of the uiouiitains, at the head of the soutli fork 
of the American River. In tlie map attai-hed to Cohini'l Fremont's 
report, it is there called Mountain IaiJix, but in the general map v( 
the explorations by Charles Preuss it is named Z«iv Bomfiijinii. 
In Wilkue'e map, and others piiblished about the jwi-iod of the gold 
discovery, it bears the former name. Wlien Culone! Johnson laid 
out his road aerobe the mountains, the lake was pasjied unnoticed, 
except under the general term of Lake Valley. Gi-neral Wynn'e 
Indian expedition, or the emigrant relief train, first named it Lake 
Bigler, after our late governor. Under this name it was first dt^ 
pieted in its trauBuiountain position in Eddy's state map. and thus 
the name has become established. 

"There is no lake in California whieli, for beauty and variety of 
M-enery, is to be compared to Bigler Lake ; but it is not its bemily 
of nitutttion alone thai will attract U6 there. A geological inlyrest 
Is fastening upon it, for thero wo see what so many other of the 
groat valle^'8 of the Sierra once were, Tlie little stream of ihi- 
Upi>er Tniekee, though but of yesterday, has yet carried down its 
sandy de]x>sits throiigh ages, eiif)icient to form the five inilcs of vhI- 
ley flats, from the fi>ot of the Johnson Pass to the present margin 
of the lake, and still the work progresses. Tlie shaUows at the 
month of the river are stretching across toward the first ]ioint on 
the eastern sliii)e of the lake, and at the same time the water level 
of llie lake is evidently subsiding." 





Wbeneter riatiire etepe out of her usual course to make mny 
thing very beautiful itr very wonderful, it is not uureiteonalde to 
expect that inwi and women, generally, will be gratefully willtug 
to go out of their way to eec it. It is true that muny men love 
money more thnn tliey love nature, otiiers love nntnre more tlixn ' 
money, and yet often feel too poor, almost, to gratify that lor«; 
otiiera have become »o much tabitnated to tlic eamu stool in the 
counting-houtte, llie eaine old chair in the office, and the uuue fo- 
aiiliar standing-place in the store, and the same spot in the woric- 
shop, mine, or field, that nothing ehort of an carth(]uake, or rev- 
olution, could induce them to turn aside from the wdl-wom liigli- 
ways of Itueiness habit, to see any thing beyond themselves anti 
their business routine. In tlidr eyes it is tLu Alpha and Oiiie^ of 
lite, the beginning and end of all things, yea, life itself. Unfortu- 
nately, habit unfits them for any thing beyimd the man-machine. 
Tile blue sky, the bright sunshine, the flower-carpeted earib, ibo 
to! i age-clot hud trees, the mosa-grown caverns, the mighty hills, or 
the forest-formed harps, touched by the fingers of the wind, and 
playing their grand old anthems of praise, have an inviting and 
fiiiggestive voice, that "man was made for enjoyment as well as duty 
— for liappluess as well as business;" and the probability is ap]>ar- 
eiit, that the godlike faculties bestowed upon him, enabling him to 
hold communion with the beautiful and the ennobling, the sublime 
or wonderful, would not have been, if man were not expectt'd to 
be something loftier than a mure humdrum business machine. 

Nature sometimes turns over some new and wonderful pages iu 
her glorious old volume, and discovers t<i men such morsels as the 
groves of mammoth trees, the To-Semite Valley, the Geysers, the 

natural bridges, and caves; and, more recently, the Alabaster cave, 
of El Dorado county. On such occasions there are many persona 
who will find time to open their sight-seeing eyes, and take a 
glimpse, it' only to say that tliey have seen them, lest they shouM 
be deemed bebhid the age, or out of the fashion ; but there are 
others again, and their name is legion, who adore, yea almost wor- 
ship, the hcauttfal, the grand, the astonishing; from the liandfiil 
of soil, that gives out bo many variutioB of rare and fragrant flow- 
ers and lucions fniits, to the vast cathedral-formed arches and in- 
tricate draperies of slone, produced by chemical agencies and mys- 
tical combinations, in one or more of nature's great laboratories 
beneath the surface of the earth. "With Uie latter class it is always 
a pleasure to be in company ; as a pleasure shared is always 
doubled ; besides, kindred spirits have a happy faculty of repro- 
duction, denied to others. 


A ledge of limestone rock, resembling marble in a])pcarance, 
cropjied out by tlie side of the El Dorado Valley turnpike road, 
which, after testing, was found to be capable of producing excellent 
lime. Early in the present year, Mr. William Gwynn employed a 
immber of men to (juan-y this rock and biilld a kiln. To these 
works he gave the name of " Alabaster Lime Quarry and Kiln." 
On the li^th of April, 1860, two workmen. George B. Ilaltemiau 
and John Karris, were quarrying limestone from this ledge, when, 
upon the removal of a piece of r<jck, a dark aperture was visible, 
that was sufficiently enlarged to enable them to enter. A flood of 
tight pouring in through the opening made, they proceeded inward 
some tifty feet. Before venturing further, they threw a stone for- 
ward, which falling into water, determined them to procure lights 
before advancing further. 

At this juncture Mr. Gwynn, tlie owner, came up ; and upon 
being informed of the discover^', sent for candles, to enable them 
to further prosecute their explorations. Tlie result of these, after 
several hours spent, cannot be better described than in Mr. 
, Gwynn's own language, in a letter dated April 10th, 1860, ad- 



dregaed to Mr. Holmes, a gentleman friend of his, reeidmg in Sac- 
ramento City; and tirst publislied in tlie Sacramento See : 

" Wonders will never eeaee. (Jn yefitoiiiay, we, in quarrj-ing 
roek, made an opening tu tlie moat beautifiU cave you ever beheld. 
On our first entrance, wo dctMiended about fifteen feet, ^mduany, 
to the centre of tlie room, wliich is one himdred by thirty feel. ■ 
At the north end there is a most magnifieent piiliiit, in tlie Epis- 
copal cluireh style, that man ever has eeeii. It seeiiis tJiat it is, 
and fihuiild be called, the ' Holy of Holies.' It ie com]>lcted with 
the nifist beautiful drapery ol" alabaster eterites, of all colors, va- 
rying from white to pink-red, overhanging the beholder. Imme- 
diately under the pulpit there is a beautiful lake of water, extend- 
ing to an unknown distance. We thought this all, but, to our 
great admiration, on arriving at the centre of the first roiim. we 
saw an eutranee to an inner clianiber, still more splendid, two 
hundred by one hundred feet, with the most beautiful alabaster 
overhanging, in every possible shaj>e of drajiery. Here stands 
magnitude, giving the instant impression of a power above man; 
grandeur that deiies decay ; antiquity that tells of ages iinnitm- 
bered ; beauty that the toueli of timeniakes more beautiful; nse 
exhauBtlosa for the service of men; strength iinpupiehahle as the 
globe, the monument of etoniity — the truest earthly emblem of 
that everlasting and unchangeable, irresistible Majesty, by whom, 
and for whom, all things were made." 

As soon as this interesting announcemeut was noised abroad, 
hundreds of people flocked to see .the newly discovered wonder, 
from all the surrounding mining settlements, so that within thu 
first six days, it was visited by upwards of four hundred persons; 
many of whom, we regret to say, possessed a larger organ of ac- 
ijnisitiveness than of veneration, and laid Vandal Lands on some of 
tiie moat beautiful portions within reach, near the entrance. This 
determined the proprietor to close it, until arrangements could be 
made for its protection and systematic illumination ; the better to 
sec, and not to touch the specimens. 

At this time. Mr. Gwyuu leased the cave to Messrs. Smith & 
Haltennan, who immediately began to prepare it for the reception 



of the pablic, by erecting bnrii.'ades, pUlfnrnis, &i:. ; and placing a 
large niiiiiber of lamps at tavomble jioints, tor the belter illiinuiia- 
tiun and inspection of tlie different chambers. 

Tlie discovery being made in the spring, fonsidemble water wne 
standing in some of tlie deepest of tlie cavities ; but sigiia were 
ulreadj visible of its recession, at the rate of nearly six incbes jut 
day ; and in a few weeks it entirely disappeared, leaving the cave 
perfectly dry. Tliis afforded opportunities for further ejcplorations ; 
when it was found that a more convenient entrance could be made, 
with but little labor, from an uninijwrtunt room M'ithin a few feet 
of ihe road. "Tliis was accordingly done, and this, in addition 
to its convenience, allows of the free circulation of pure air. Hav- 
ing thua given an historical sketch of the discovery, with other 
matters connected with its preservation and management, we shall 
now endeavor to take the reader with us, at least in imagination, 
while describing it and 


Ab a majority of visitors will, most probably, be from San Fran- 
cisco, it >uay not be aniit'e, with the reader's permission, to present 
a brief outiine of some of the most interesting sights to be wit- 
nessed, from the deck of the steamboat, on our way up the Sacra- 
mento. A large portion of the route, from that great mercantile 
metropolis of the Pacific to the mouth of the San Joaquin, has 
been already illustrated and described in the first chapter of thin 
work, to wliich we would again refer hie attention. 

On page twenty-nine, we have deecribed the course of the SHi<;k- 
ton boat as to the right ; while that bound for Sacramento City 
sails straight forwai-d, toward the west end of a large, low tule 
flat, lying between the San Joaquin and Sacramento, named Slier- 
man^s Island, and here we enter the Sacrainento river. The Mon- 
tezuma hills, seen on our right, and a few stunted trees on the left, 
are the only objects in the landscape to relieve the eye, by contrast 
with the low tule swamp, until we approach the new and flourish- 
ing little settlement of Rio Vista. " Tliis town," writes Dr. C A, 
Kirkpatrick, the obliging postmaster, " is situated about forty-five 

B^.:E^■E8 IN CALlPtJitSIA, 


miles lielow the city of Sacramento, and below the outlets of «1I 
t)ie large aloiighe, or at least two uf tlie largest, Stenniboat and 
Cavlie Creek slougliB — uniting with the main, or old Sacramento 
river, j list above this place; making the stream hero abont one- 
third of a mile wide. The reader will see that, being upon the 
main river, so near its outlet into Suiaun Bay, not over twenty 


miles, and bo fur from tlio mining region, there ia a clearer and 
larjfer body of water tlmii can lie found anywhere else on the 
river. It is to this place that the salmon-fish now resort. Before 
taking the final plnnge, they seem here to have tumetl at bay, 
and are eagerly canght in the following manner: 



^^B "Netsarcconstnietedof stout shoe-thread, first made into skeins, 
^^■'tiitin twisted into a cord about the size of common twine, after the 




>eiinu- I 

Ititihion of making nipi^. It is ihcii, with a wooden needle, 
iifavtured intu it well of njieii network, from TSO to \^Oii (t 
13(1 to 2iiu fal]iiiii» loiu;. and 15 fuel nidc. On iNtth eidofi of' 
lilt am BDiall n»i>cft, to wliii-li it la faalt-ned. On tlic pope dceifi^iift- 
tcd for tliti upper eido, aro pUei^. at iiitvrvulii of five or six feet. 
piL'i-f» of eork or liglit wood, fur the purpose of buoys ; while on 
the other lino bits of luad are fastened, to aink tiie net in tlic wntor. 
Now attaeh to oni.* end of the upper line a small buoy, ]>ainted mnj 
dark tnilor which tr*n he i-jisily disliniruiBhiHl, and at tho otiicr 
makp ffutt a line fifteen or lwi*nty feet long, fur the fisln 
hold, while htri net float's and the net is couiplcte. 

" Wljitili.ill boiiU are tlioBo most generally used in this braneh 
of Btate industry; they are from nineteen to twenty-two feet in 
length of keel, and from four ti> five feet breadth of heaiu ; thU 
size and style being eoHBidere*! tJie best. Now, the next tJiing 
wanted, are tw<i fearlesn men ; one to manage the boat, and tlie other 


to east the net The net is then stowed in the after part of the 
boat, ami every tiling made ready for a hatU. 

" Being at what is called the head of the drift, one of the men 
takes his place in tlio stem of the boat, and, while the rower pulU 
acn«B tlie stream, the net is thrown over the stem. Tims ia form- 
ed a barrier, or network, almost iIil* entire width of the etreani, 
and to the depth of fifteen or twenty feet. The (fr\ft is the distance 
on the river which is passed after eastinj^ tlie net, which floats with 
the tide until it is drawn into the boat. Tliis passage, and the draw- 
ing in of the net, completes the process of catching the salmon. 

" In coming in contact wilh the net, the head nf the fish passes 

far enough through tlie meshes, or openings, to allow the strong 

threads of the net to fall back of and nnder the gill, and thus 

they are unable to escape, and are effcetnally caught in tlie 7ut and 

^H drawn into the boat. 


"During the year 18i>2, there were probably as many fish found in 
tJiat part nf the Sacramento river before alluded to, i 

s at any time 

prtivious, and more than at any time since — two men with one 
nut and boat having caught as many as three hundred fish iu the 
course of one night ; the niglit being the beut time to tuke theiu. 
on account of Uieir being unable to see and avoid the net. 

"The fish whidi are caught in the spring are much larger and 
nicer than thoae canglit during the aummcr montba; the former 
being really a bright salmon-color, and the texture of the flesli 
firm and solid ; wliile the latter, in appearance, might properly be 
called salmon-color faded, and tlie flesh soft and unpalatable. Tliis 
difference \& no doubt owing to the temperature and corapoBitiou 
(if the water in which the fisli maybe sojourning; the cold, salt 
Mea water hardening and coloring the flesh, while the warm, fresh 
rivur water tends to soften and bleach. 

Ai.AKAsTi^K oavr:. S53 

"Tliey seem to be gregarious iti tl«:ir uatiire, travailing ia Iierdtt, 
or, as the fishermen call it, " sc/igoIs." They do not like a very 
cold climate, as is indicated by their not ascending the rivers on 
tlie northern coast, except in very limitud nmnbcre, until the muutli 
of July. In those streams where the ciirrojit is very mjiit), their 
rate of speed is supposed to be five or six miles an hour ; but 
where the current is eddying and slow, not more than two miles 
an lioiir. It has also been ascertained that they will stop for two 
or three days in deep, still water ; no doubt to rest and feed, as 
thoy eliooBC plaices where food can be easily procured. 

"Tliere seems to be (juite a difference in the size, flavor, and 
habits of the salmon found in the Sacramento, Columbia and 
Fraser i-ivers; those of the Sacraniento being lart^ur, more juiuy, 
more oily, and brighter colored. 'Htey arc, however, more abun- 
dant in the north, and about Iialf tlje average weigjit — that of the 
the fonner being about fifteen pounds; althougii early in the spring 
some are caught in the north quite &s large as any caught in the 
Sacramento, and weigh from fifty to sixty pounds. 

" In the Gulf of Georgia and Belliugham Bay, and on the Ci>- 
lumbia, Frazer and Lumna rivers, the salmon are taken by thou- 
sands; while we of the Sacramento only get them by hundreds. 
One boat, last season, on the Frazer river, in one month, caught 
13,860, There is also one peculiarity with the fish of the north 
— every second or third year there are hut few salmon in those 
watcre, tiieir jilaees being taken by a fish called the /tiyne, which 
come in great numbers, equal if not greater than the salmon. Tlie 
two fish never come in any considerable numbers together. 

"From facts obtained from tlie freight clerks of the C. S. K- 
Oo.'s boats, wo learn, that from the iirincipal shipping port of the 
Sacramento river, liiu Vista, there is an average of 150 fish, or 
3,250 pounds, sent caeh day to market, for five months of the year, 
making a total of 22,.')00 fish, or 337,500 pounds ; the greater part 
of these are shipped, and used fresh in San Francisco. But this 
number forms but a small pr<)jK>rtion of what are caught, the prin- 
cipal part being retained and salted, or smukwl, or otherwise pre- 
pared for shipment to various parts of the world — many finding 


their way to Australia, and the islands of the Pacific, as well bb 
to New York, and other domestic ])orts on the Atlantic seaboard.^ 

Till-: hog's back. 

About six miles above Gio Vista is the far-famed '^ IIo<r^s Back/' 
TIlis is formed bv the settlin<^ of the sediment wliicli comes down 
from the rivers above, and is caused by a widening of the stream 
and a decrease in the fall of tlie river. It extends for about three 
hundred yanis in Ien<;th; and at the lowest stage of water isabont 
live feet from the surface, and at the highest point eleven feet six 
inches. Being affected by the tides, and as they are exactly at 
the ftsime point every two weeks, during tlie fall season of the year, 
for two or three days at each low tide, a detention of heavily 
freighted vessels, of from one to four hours, will then take place. 

Persons when ilesi-ending the river, as the steamboat generally 
leaves Sacramento City at two o'clock p. m., have an opportunity 
of knowing when tliey arrive at the " Ilog's Back" by seeing the 
mast of a vessel with the lower cross-trees upon it, and Bometimes 
a portion of her bulwarks. Tliis vessel was named the Charleston, 
and was freighted principally with quartz machinery, a portion of 
wliicli l)eing for tlic (iold Hill Quartz Co., at Grass Valley, she 
had discharged, l)Ut, the owners of another and larger portion of 
it nut being found, slie was returning with it to San Francisco in 
October, 1857, but having struck upon this sand-bank, at a very 
low stage of the water, careened over, and was swamped. Several 
attempts have since been made to take out the maehinerj', but as 
yet it has defied them all, and being filled with sand, it will be a 
very difficult task for any one ever to set her afloat again, and the 
reward be but poor, inasmuch as it cannot be in any other than 
a spoiled condition, from rust and other causes. 


A short distance above the Ilog's Back we arrived at the junc- 
tion of Sutter Slough with Steamboat Slough, and there enter the 
narrowest part of the stream. As this slough is deep and naviga- 
ble, and moreover is about nine miles nearer for sailing through 


than by tlie main, or "old river," nearly all vessels npward Itonnd 
take tills route; while those on the downward trip (t-xcepiing bleaiii- 
lioats) generally take the main rivur, iruisniufhasthe wiiidiBluure 
favorable for their return to San Franciaco. 

As we pas* thrniigli Steamboat Slough, we are impressed with 
the narrowness of the channel for such large vessels, tlie luxuriant 
foliage of the trocs that adorn itg hanks, and the snug littlu cabins, 

2.*iti 84 l-lM-iS IN CALIFUKNIA. 

ii(*arlv >liiit out tniiii iii;rlit by wild viiKs and trees, tbat are seen at 
intervals on its niaririn. I ndt'inl the scenery, as vou steam up or 
down tlie rivtT, ir« |)i<'tnres4|ue in no sli<;lit decree. Here and there, 
as von tnrn with the suihien windin;rs i>t' the i^tream, vou come 
ii|)«in the littU; hoats of ti>hernien, iin<l sh>o})S, with their sails furl- 
eii like the folded win<rs ot' u heii-hird, waiting for the wind. The 
iin])rovenients ot' the hn>handniun aiv everywhere seen alon^ the 
slioi'c ^<*ottULri's h:df hidtleii auion«^ the drooping branches of the 
sy<-aniores, outli«inse>, liaystaeks, orehards, and gardens — with their 
]>ro<hi<*t of s(|naslies and eahhaires ])iled in huge heaps; and here 
and there a selioi)|-honse or eliureh gives a eheerfnl doniestic 
eharaeter to the M-ene. The hmdseape is diversified by the gnarl- 
ed oaks, witli vines clinging ahi»ut them for supj)ort, and their 
hran<'hes t-oven-d with dark nnis>es of mistletoe. 

Sailing along, proliahly we inav see a small stern-wheel steam- 
s<*ow, putting away like some odd-shaped and outlandish leviathan, 
iniin<Ml the 'Mfipsy." She ]»lits between the various ranches and 
gardens on the river and Sacramento Oity, taking vegetables, grain, 
flour. Arc., u]> to the city, ami returning with groeeries, drj- goods, 
jKipers, iVc. I>y this means she has createil quite a snug little 
hu.'-ine.'-s for her>elf, and become an intlisjiensable visitor to the 
resiilents. In fact tlicy could not couveuiently get along without 

Far away to the eastward, the snow-ca|>pe<l Sierras, with a black 
belt of pines at their base, an<l nearer, the mist-draped and purple 
(\»ast Range, rise on the view. Along the plains are here and 
there seen clum))sof trees — a sure intlication of water; and ocea- 
>ionalIv, the charred trunk of some burnt and blasted tree lifts its 
l»ari» branches tcjward heaven in s«»litarv grandeur. During the 
seas<»n when the immense tracts of tales which cover the low lands 
are on tire, the conflagration lends a wild and i)ecnliar beauty to 
the view. 

The levet^ at Sa<*ramento Citv — with its scenes of bustling act iv- 
ity ; its numerous steamboats, dila]>idatLH.l and otherwise: its loco- 
motive, ]>utlinir jnid snortimr; aiul all the livinsr tide of industry, 
riding, driving ami walking in all dinvtions — is at length in view. 


but we have gossiped bo much by tlie way, that we have not die 
gpace left to devote to a. (iity like tliis, holding the second rank ou 
the Paciliu coast, and posseeeiiig a population of 14,(K>0 buuIs, niid 
about aa many objects of interest as does the City of the Bay ; 
that we content ourselves by making the best of our way to 
Btatiou, and pi-epare for 

o UieJ 



This great private enterprise and public convenience 
menced in March, 1855, and is tlie first passenger railroad buill in 
California. On the lltli of August of the same year, the first car 
was placed upon it; and on the 3d of February, 1856, it was com- 
pleted to Folsoni, a distance of 22J miles. 

Leaving tlie depot, at the corner of li stTcet and Levee, we con- 
tinue along tlie eastern bank of the Sacramento river to R street, 
where a turning is made to tiie eastward ; tlien, passing the beauti- 
ful gardens and cottages on the suburbs of the city, wceniergte U[K)ti 
a broad oak-studded plain, where the handiwork of the a^riciiltn- 
rist and richness of the soil are everj-where visible, in tlie hixuriani 
crops seen on every side. Herds of cattle and bands of horses start 
at our approach, as if to make lis believe they are friftliteiied at 
the shape and speed of the puffing Hery monster that is udvaiie- 
ing. Here we see a cross-road ; yonder a " station ;" now we rum- 
ble over a viaduct ; then, rattle through an excavation ; amid fanu- 
houses and mining settlements, gardens and orchards, until, alter 
a ride of an hour and a quarter, we arrive at 


Tliis ia a perfect stage-coach Babel ; for. 

waiting the train, we 
find conveyances to almost every eection of the central iiiinee. As 
our destination, now, is for the " Alabaster Cave," let us be ujx>n 
the look-out for a quiet-looking, open-faced (and hearted), mtddle- 
aged man, who is patiently sitting on the box of his stage, his 
good-natured countenance invitingly saying: "If there are any 
ladies and gentlemen who wish a pleasant ride lo-day, to ' Alabas- 
ter Cave,' let them come this way, and then it shall not be my 



[ &ult if it is not one of the most agreeable they ever took/' Tliul 
I gentleman is Captain Nye. We ask, somewhat hastily, if hia is the 
I eon veyance for the Cave, when a bluff and kindly response is, 
"Yes, sir; but don't hurry yourself, I shall not start for a few 
I miniites, and the day is before us." 

It may not be amiss here to remark, tliat the Alabaster Cave is 
loeated on Kidd's ravine, about threetiuarters of a mile from its 
debouchment in the north fork of the American River; twelve 
and a haif miles from Folsom. by the " Whiskey Ear" road ; and 
ten miles by the El Dorado Valley turnpike ; but, let us give a 
table of distances from all the surrounding country. 

fialtleanuko Bar 1 j miles. 

Pilot Hill, 4 

Gold Hill. PlaoerOo 6 

Mormoa Inland, 6} " 

Auburn, 8 " 

Negro Hill,.-. G 

I Qreeawood Vklle/, 9 " 

E'llSCOll], 9 

I StolBom, 10 end 13} " 

I UnioalowD andColonut, IS " 

Gcorjjetown, I B □ 

DiamoDd Sp's. k El Domdo Citf, 30 

Iowa Hill, Placer Co 2(1 

Forest HUl, ao 

Plocerrille 33 

Qtuh Valley,.... 31 

Sacramento, 32) 

Nevada, 34 

Unrjsville, 38 


As our coachman is ready, and has given the well-known sig- 
nal " All aboard ;" moreover, as he has way-passengers on tlie El 
Dorado turnpike route, and none on the former, we, of courtie, 
give it the preference. 
From Folsoiu, then, our course lies over gently-roiling hills, 
witli here and there an occasional busli or tree, to Mormon Island. 
Here, peach-orchards and well cultivated ganleiis present a grate- 
ftil relief to the dry and somewhat dusty road. 
Crossing the south fork of the American by a long, high, and 
well-built suspension-bridge, we ascend, on an easy grade, to a min- 
ing camp, named Negro IliU. Threading our way among mining 
claims, miners, and ditches, we pass througli the town into Ihe 
k'Open country ; where buckeye bushes — now perliaps scantily clad 
■jo dry brown leaves, that bi^peak the approach of autumn — the 



•nd tiie dark, rich foliage of white oaks, dot the laod- 

nut pme, and 

Presently we reach the foot of a long hill covered with a dense 
growth of chapparel, composed mostly of cheiiusal buslieH. As wu 
aecend, we feel tlie advantage of having an intelligent and agree- 
able coai'hmau, who not only knows but kindly explains tlie lo- 
calities visible from the road. 

From the summit of Chapparel Hill, we have a glorions pros- 
pect of the country for many miles. Tliere, is "Moute Diablo,"' 
sleeping in the purple distance; yonder, "Sutter's Buttes," which 
bespeak at once their prominence and altitude; while the rich 
valley, and the bright silvery sheen of the Sacramento and its 
tributaries, are spread out in beauty before us. The descent to the 
cave on the other side of the hill is very picturesque and beautiful, 
from the shadowy grandeur of the groups of mountains seen in 
the distance. 

Arriving about noon, a good appetite will most likely he sug- 
gestive of a substantial lunch, or dinner. ThiB being quietly over, 
let us indulge in a good rest before presuuiing to look npou the 
marvels we have come to witness; and not be like too many, who 
do injustice to themselves and the Bights to be seen, by attempt- 
ing them hurriedly, or when the body is fatigued, and consequent- 
ly the muid unfitted for the pleasing task. 


On leaving the hotel, it is but a short and pleasant walk to the 
cave. At our right hand, a few steps before reaching it, there 
is a lime-kiln — a perpetual lime-kiln — which, being interpreted, 
means one in which the article in question can be contina&llj 
made, without the necessity of cooling off, as under tho old method. 
Here a large portion of the lime consumed in San Francisco, is 
manufactured. It is hauled down to Folsom or Sacramento !□ 
wagons, as return freight, and from thence transported below. To 
see this kiln at night, in full blast, as we did, is a sight which alone 
would almost repay the trouble of a visit. Tho redhot doors at 
the base, with the light flashing on tho faces of the men as they 

ALABA^TllR iJi.\E. 

I Btir the fire, or, " wood-up," with the flainee escaping ont from IIil- 
L top ; aiid wlien to this is added the deep i-avitic, darkened b^' tall, 
I overhanging, and large-topped trees and elirubB ; while high alort 
ails tlie moon, throwing lier silverv scintillations on every objet-t 
[ around, from the foliagc-drapcd hill, to the bright little riviilci 
I that munniire by — description is inipoesiblc. 

At these works, there are forty barrels of lime manufactured 
[ Bvcrj' twenty -four hours. To produce those, three and a half cords 
[ of wood are consumed, costing, for cutting only. $1 75 per cord. 
I To haul tills to the works, requires a man and team constantly. 



Two men are employed to excavate tlie rock, and two more lo at- 
tend to tlie burning — relieving each other at the fumac-o everr 
twelve lioiira; fmni morn to midnight. 

The roi;k, as will be seen in tlie engraving, is supplied from the 
top, and is drawn from the bottom everj six hours, both day and 


Wlicn entering the cave from the road — as indicated in tlic en- 
graving, by the gronp of figures opp<.i8ite the two trees behind the 
lime-kiln — we tleseend some three or four steps to a board floor. 
Here is a door that is always carefully locked, when no visitors 
are within. Passing on, we reach a chamber about tweuty*five 
feet in length by seventeen feet in width, and from five feet to 
twelve feet six inches in height, Tliia is somewhat eiiriou^ al- 
though very plain and uneven at hoth roof and sides. Here also 
is a desk, on which is a book, inscribed, '"Coral Cave Register." 
This book was presented by some gentlemen of San Franeiseo who 
believed that " Coral Cave" would be the most appropriate name. 
The iuipression produced on our mind at the first walk tlirongli it, 
was that "Alabaster Cave" would be equally as good a name; 
but, iipoD Bxamiiiing it more thoroughly afterward we thought 
that — a greater proportion of the omaiuenta at the root of the 
stalactites being like beautifully frozen mosses or very fine coral, 
and the long icicle-looking pendants being more like alabaster — 
the former name was to he preferred. But, na the name of " Ala- 
baster" had been given to the works by Mr. Gwynn, on account 
of the purity and whiteness of the limestone found, even before 
the cave was discovered, we cheerfully acquiesce in the nomencla- 
ture given. Tlie register was opened April 24th, 1860, and on 
our visit, September 30th ensuing, 2,721 names had been entered. 
Some three or four hundred persons visited it before a register was 
thought of, and many more declined entering their names ; so that 
the number of persons who entered this cave the 3-ear of its dia- 
covcry, must have exceeded three thousand. 

Advancing aUmg another passage, or room, several notiees at 
tract our eye, such as, '■ not touch the specimens," " No 



l.amoking allowed," " Ilaiids aud feet off," (with ftet acratcbed out) 
ft' — auiputalion of those iiieiiibcns not intended I Tiie low siielving 

■ roof, at tlie left and near the end of the passage, is covered with 

■ coral-like exerescenees, resembling bunches of coarao roek-moss. 
f Thiri bringa us to the entrance of 


Before ua is a broad, oddiy-8hape<l, and low-roofed chamber, 

abont one hundred and twenty feet in length by seventy feet in 

breadth, and ranging from four to twenty feet in tieight. 

_ Bright coral-like etalactites hang down in irregular rows, and 

EiD ahiioi't every variety of shape and shade, from milk-white to 

r cream-eolor ; standing in inviting relief to the dark arehes above, 

and the frowning buttresses on either hand ; while low-browed 

ridges, some almost black, others of a reddish-brown, stretch froTO 

, either side, between whieh the space is ornamented with a peculiar 

tifioloring that resembles n groteeqiiu kind of graining. 

Descending toward tlie left, we approach one of the most beau- 
(tifnl stalactilie groups in this apartment. Some of these are fine 

■ pendants, no larger than pi[>e-stem&, tubular, and from two to five 
K&et in length. Three or four there were, over eight feet long; 
rbut the early admitted Vandals destroyed or carried them off. 
^Others i-csemble the ears of white elephants (If such an animal 
w«ould be known to natural history), while others, again, present 
I the appearance of long and slender cones, inverted. 

By examining this and other groups more eloBely, wc ascertain 

■ that at their base arc nunierous coral-like excreseeneea of great 
beauty ; here, like petrified moss, brilliant, and almost transpar- 
ent ; there, a pretty fungus, tipped with diamonds ; yonder, like 
minalure pine-trees, which, to accommodate themselves to cireuni- 

I stances, have grown with their tops downward. In other places, 
I are apparent fleeces of the finest Merino woul, or floss silk. 

Leaving these, by turning to the right wo can ascend a ladder, 
l^and see other combinations of such mysterious beauty as highly 
ftfo gratify and repay us. Ilere is tlce loftiest part of this chamber. 
^>aving this, yon arrive at a large stalagmite that resembles a 

2(!4 SCENES 

tying-post for liorsca, and which has been dignified, or tnyatificd, 
by such names as " Lot'a wife" (if eo, she was a very dwarf of a 
woman, as it« altitude is hut four feet three invhefi, and its cir- 
cumference, at the base, three feet one inch), "Hercules' club," 
" Brobdif^ag's fore-finger," &c. 

Parsing on, over a small rise of an apparently snow-congealed 
or petrified floor, wc look down into an immense cavernous depth, 
whose i-oof is covered with icicles and coral, and whose sides ore 
draped with jet. In one of these awe-giving solitudea is suspend- 
ed a heart, that, from its size, might be imagined to belong to one 
of a race of liuman giants. 

On one side of this, is an elevated and nearly level natural floor, 
npon which a fable and seats have been temporarily erected, for 
the convenience of choristers, or for public worship. It would 
have gratified us beyond measure to have heard these " vaulted 
hills" resound the symphonies of some grand anthem from Mozart, 
or Ilaydn, or Mendetseolm. Many of the pendant harps would 
have echoed them in delicious harmonies from chamber to cham- 
ber, and carried them around, from roof to wall, throughout the 
whole of these rock-formed vistas. 

We must not Ihiger bere too long, hut enter otlier little phani* 
bers, in whose roofs are formations tliat resemble streams of water 
that have been arrested in their flow, and turned to ice. In anoth- 
er, a perfectly formed beet, from one jioint of view ; and from 
another, the front of a small elephant's head. A beautiful bell- 
shaped hollow, near here, is called " Julia's bower I" 

Advancing along a narrow, low-roofed passage, we emerge into 
the most beautiful chamber of the whole suite, entitled 


It is impossible to find suitable language or cojnparisons with 
which to describe this maguifieent spot. From the beginning, we 
have felt that wc were almost presumptnous in attempting to por- 
tray these wonderful scenes ; hut, in the hope of inducing otliers 
to sec, with their natural eyes, the sights tliat we have seen, and 
enjoy the pleasure that we have enjoyed, we entered upon the task, 



even though inadequately, of giving an outlino — notliing nioi-e. 
Here, however, we confoes ourselves eiitiruly at a Io8s. Mi** 
Maude Neeliam, a young lady visitor from Yrcka, hue 8ucceede<i 
in giving an adinirnhle idea of this sublime Biglit, in eome DX<:el- 
knit drawings, made upon the ^K^t•, two of which we have en- 
graved, and lieruwith present to the reader. 

Tlie sublime grandeur of tlus imposing sight fills the boiiI with 
astonishment, that Bwella up from within as though its purpone 
was to make the beholder spewiilcas — tlie language of silente be- 
ing the moft fitting and impresBive, when ]nmy man treads tlic 
great halls of nature, the more surely to lead hhu, humbly, from 
these, to tlie untold glory of the Infinite One, who devieeil the 
laws, and superintended the processes, that brought sueh wonders 
into being. 

After the mind seems prepared to examine this gorgeous spec- 
tacle somewhat in detail, we hxik upon Uie ceiling, if we may 
so s[)enk, which is entirely covered with myriads of the most 
beautiful of stone icicles, long, large, and brilliant; between these, 
are squares, or panels — the midlions or bars of whii-h seem to he 
formed of diamonds; while the panels tlieniBelveB resemble tim 
frosting upon windows in the very depth of winter; and even these 
are of many colors — that most prevailing being of a light pinkish- 
cream. MosB, coral, floss, wool, trees, and many other forms, adorn 
the interstices between the larger of the stalactites. At the far- 
ther end is one vast mass of rock, resembling congealed water, 
apparently formed into many folds and little hillocks; in many 
instances connet'ted by pillars with the roof above. Deep down, 
and underneath this, is the entrance by which we reached this 

At our right stands a large stalagmite, douie-shapcd at the top, 
and covered with beautifully undulating and wavy folds. Every 
imaginary gracefulness possible to the most curiously arranged 
drajter^', is here visible, " car^-cd in alabaster" by the Groat Archi- 
tect of the universe. Tliia is nami>d "The Pulpit." 

In order to examine this object with more minuteness, a tompn- 
rary platform has been eret^tod, which, although detractlvf of thi- 



wrought pictures of the imagination, painted in such charming 
language, and with such good eflfect, in such works as the " Ara- 
bian Nights." 

Other apartments, known as the " Picture Gallery," (fee, might 
detain us longer ; but, as they bear a striking resemblance, in many 
respects, to other scenes already described, we must take our leave, 
in the hope that we have said enough to enlist an increased atten- 
tion in favor of this new California wonder. 

The ride being agreeable, the fare cheap, the coachman oblig- 
ing, the guides attentive, and the spectacle one of the most sin- 
gular and imposing in the state, we say to every one, " Go cmd 
see ity 

3 6105 040 677 291 




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